Traffic laws were put into place for a reason - to keep everyone safe while they are in and around motor vehicles. When someone violates these traffic laws, it can be dangerous for everyone involved, but if they violate traffic laws when driving through a work zone, the results can be deadly. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 6,741 crashes in Illinois work zones in 2016. In those accidents, 765 people were killed, and around 1,893 people were injured.
Construction zones usually mean that there are more people near the road working, but drivers are actually more likely to become victims of construction zone crashes than workers. Illinois has some of the strictest construction zone traffic laws in the country, so it is important that you follow the rules for the sake of yourself and others.
From 2013 to 2017, there were a total of 177 work zone accident fatalities in Illinois. Contrary to what you might think, the majority of those fatalities were not construction workers. In fact, only six workers were killed in construction zone collisions, meaning the other 171 deaths were drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or bicyclists.
Many people believe that when a construction zone is not currently in operation, the posted speed limits do not apply. Actually, even if there are no workers present in the construction zone, the posted speed limits (which are often five to ten miles per hour lower) still do apply, and you can still be charged with speeding in a construction zone if you do not obey them.
In order for you to be charged with speeding in a construction zone, the sign showing the decreased speed limit must include a few different elements. Speed limit signs should be accompanied by an orange work zone plaque, the work zone fine, and the Photo Enforced plaque, if applicable. If the work zone speed limit sign does not contain these elements, you might be able to negotiate a lower fine when charged a traffic violation.
Speeding tickets can be costly in general, but if you are charged with speeding in a work zone, you can expect to pay much higher fines. A first offense for speeding in a work zone will earn you a $375 ticket, and if you are caught a second time, you will be hit with a minimum $1,000 fine. In addition, if the second offense is within two years of the first offense, your driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days.
Disobeying traffic laws is a bad idea at any time and place, but the consequences can become even worse if you violate traffic laws while you are in a construction zone. If you are facing a construction zone traffic ticket, you need the help of a Rolling Meadows traffic violation attorney who can discuss your options with you and help you determine your best course of action. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law has over 25 years of experience defending against criminal charges and traffic tickets, and he will fight to get you the best results possible. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 847-253-3400.
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