Chicago Failure to Reduce Speed Attorneys
Everyone knows that operating a motor vehicle at a rate of speed that exceeds the posted speed limit is a violation of the state’s traffic laws. Did you know, however, that under a variety of conditions you are also required to reduce your speed even if you are not exceeding the speed limit? A violation of this law is commonly known as “failure to reduce speed” and is frequently issued to at least one of the parties following a collision.
If you have been ticketed for failure to reduce speed, it is imperative that you understand all the potential consequences of a conviction. The Chicago failure to reduce speed lawyers of Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC can help you defend your rights. Contact us at (312) 644-0444 for a free legal consultation.
What Is the Illinois Failure to Reduce Speed Law?
The failure to reduce speed law is governed by Illinois Compiled Statutes 625 IILCS 5/11-601(a) which reads, in pertinent part, as follows:
"No vehicle may be driven upon any highway of this State at a speed which is greater than is reasonable and proper with regard to traffic conditions and the use of the highway or endangers the safety of any person or property. The fact that the speed of a vehicle does not exceed the applicable maximum speed limit does not relieve the driver from the duty to decrease speed when approaching and crossing an intersection, approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hillcrest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, or when special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions. Speed must be decreased as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person or vehicle on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care."
What Are the Potential Penalties for Violating the Failure to Reduce Speed Law?
Also known as “failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident,” the failure to reduce speed law is a petty offense with a potential fine of up to $1,000 if convicted. It is often the related consequences of a conviction that are most problematic. Like all moving violations, a conviction will result in points against your license which, in turn, will likely raise your car insurance rates for the foreseeable future.
Moreover, if you are convicted of failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, that conviction can be used against you in a subsequent civil lawsuit. In other words, if another party files a lawsuit against you for injuries sustained in a collision, and you are convicted of failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, it will likely be used as evidence of your negligence (fault) in the personal injury lawsuit. If you were negligent, it typically means you will be held financially responsible for the injured party’s damages which may include repairs to a vehicle, medical and hospital bills, and time missed from work because of the collision.
Can I Avoid a Conviction for Failure to Reduce Speed?
Every ticket is issued under a unique set of circumstances; however, for the State to prove failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident they must show more than just that you failed to slow down. The state must show that you violated your duty to use “due care.” Whether or not a motorist used “due care” is a subjective determination that can be affected by a wide variety of factors and circumstances. For example, were road conditions such that slowing down wasn’t possible? Was it really the other driver that failed to slow down? Did you actually reduce your speed but the accident occurred anyway? There are typically a number of factors that should be investigated when building a defense to an accusation of failure to reduce speed.
Another possible route to avoiding a conviction for failure to reduce speed is to enter into the Court Supervision program. Under this option, you will be placed under the supervision of the court for a period of time (usually about six months for this type of offense) during which you must remain out of trouble and not receive any additional tickets. You may also be required to pay fines, costs, and fees along with complete community service hours. If you successfully complete the Court Supervision program your case will be dismissed, meaning you will not have a conviction on your permanent record nor will you incur points on your license.
Contact a Chicago Traffic Law Attorney Today
If you were recently ticketed for failure to reduce speed in Chicago following an accident, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced traffic law attorney right away to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact an experienced Chicago traffic law lawyer at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC today by calling 800-996-4824 or by filling out our online contact form.