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Increased Patrol for National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The month of April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The National Safety Council (NSC) is utilizing this month to put a focus on the dangers of and ultimately help eliminate preventable deaths from distracted driving by promoting their #JustDrive Campaign.  Disturbingly, at least nine Americans die and 100 are injured in distracted driving crashes every day, making it one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes today. In response to this month of awareness, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police, and more than 100 local law enforcement agencies throughout Illinois are joining to remind drivers of the dangers and consequences that come with distracted driving. As a result, there will be increased patrols and enforcement zones throughout Illinois. Patrol officers are not only looking for drivers using their cellphones behind the wheel but also drivers who are using dashboard touchscreens and any other in-vehicle technologies that consume a driver’s attention.

If you are unfamiliar with the penalties that come with using a cellphone behind the wheel in the State of Illinois, you may want to look over the following.

First and second violations: The standard fine amount for motorists who opt to pay the ticket without going to court is $120, but can go up to $1,000 with court fees.

Third Violations: A third or subsequent cellphone violation is a class C misdemeanor with a minimum fine, again, of $120 for those who pay the ticket without going to court, and a maximum fine of $1,500.

Aggravated cellphone violations: If you cause injury, disability, or death of an individual as a result of being on your cellphone behind the wheel, this is considered “aggravated use of a wireless telephone.” Violations that do not involve any fatalities are class A misdemeanors and can carry up to a year in prison and a maximum fine of $2,500. If the violation involves a fatality, motorists can be sentenced up to three years in prison, and be fined up to $25,000.

In addition to this, starting in July 2019, the first offense for driving while using a cellphone will be considered a moving violation and will go on a driver’s record. If a driver is convicted of three moving violations within one year, they may have their license suspended.

The consequences of those distractions are not worth the convenience they offer. When behind the wheel, put your phone out of reach and pay attention, otherwise you could be dealing with hefty fines, jail time, or the guilt of injuring and/or possibly killing an innocent individual.

You can read more about the #JustDrive campaign at NSC.org.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation to assist you with your physical injuries, property damage, and emotional suffering. The experienced attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. have extensive knowledge and drive and will work diligently to get you the highest compensation possible for your case. Contact the car accident attorneys of Spiros Law at (217) 328-2828 to discuss your situation today.