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Illinois Ends License Suspension For Non-Moving Violations, More Penalties For Texting While Driving

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Drivers in Illinois will no longer have their license or vehicle registration suspended for unpaid parking fines and tollway violations. 

Spokesperson for Secretary of State’s Office, Henry Haupt said a parking ticket doesn’t define a person’s ability to drive.

“Parking tickets have no impact whatsoever on your ability to drive safely, so it really shouldn’t impact the privileges of your driver's license.”

Backers of the new law, referred to as The License To Work Actsaid drivers in Illinois should be able to drive back and forth to work, even if they cannot afford to pay fines.

Suspensions will be lifted for drivers whose license is suspended for ten or more parking tickets, providing they don’t have other serious driving convictions. 

However, the new change does not apply to moving violations. Drivers who receive three or more moving violations in a year, could still have their licenses suspended. Some moving violations include speeding, running a stop sign, or a red light.

There are now more severe penalties for Illinois drivers who are caught texting while driving, and for crashes involving crosswalks and right-of-way violations.

If a driver is caught texting while driving, or using a computer, and they cause a serious injury to a person, they will face a 12 month license suspension and a minimum fine of $1,000.

Illinois was one of the first states to put a ban on texting while driving. Haupt said texting while driving puts everyone’s life at risk.

“When you're driving your vehicle, focus on the task at hand, driving,” he said. “Don’t fall prey to distractions, you could injure yourself or someone else, or you could kill someone.”

Drivers who violate the right of way at a crosswalk or in a school zone and cause injury will face a 12 month license suspension.

All new laws took effect on July 1.

Olivia Mitchell is a graduate Public Affairs Reporting intern for the spring 2020 legislative session.
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