A charge for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident should not be taken lightly. Illinois Statute 625 ILCS 5/11-601(a) states that:
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 hill crest, 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.
While failure to reduce speed to avoid accident, like driving without auto insurance, is a petty offense (no jail time), the fine does run up to $1,000. You may also be ordered to complete public service time or attend a driver safety course. Also, simply pleading out to the charge can carry civil repercussions, as that plea can be used against you at a civil trial. However, a bench or jury trial that you may lose and be found guilty on cannot be used against you.
That’s why having a traffic violation attorney on your side is important and will help avoid the most severe penalties. If you’re facing a charge of failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, contact the Law Office of Paul M. Marriett at (815) 391-0089 to get back on the road faster.
Yielding to Emergency Vehicles
Drivers also face consequences if they fail to use caution when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle. Illinois Statute 625 ILCS 5/11-907(c) states:
Upon approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, when the authorized emergency vehicle is giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing red, red and white, blue, and red and blue lights, or amber or yellow warning lights, a person who drives an approaching vehicle shall:
- Proceeding with due caution, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the authorized emergency vehicle, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a highway having at least 4 lanes with not less than 2 lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or
- Proceeding with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.
The penalty for a failure to yield to an emergency vehicle is a “business offense,” but the fine and impact to your license can be severe. You can be fined between $100 and $10,000. If you receive a conviction for Failure to Yield to Emergency Vehicle, your license will be suspended by the Illinois Secretary of State for the mandated period.
If you are facing a failure to reduce speed to avoid accident or failure to yield to an emergency vehicle charge in Rockford, Machesney Park, Loves Park, Winnebago County or surrounding northern Illinois communities, contact the Law Office of Paul M. Marriett at (815) 391-0089 or email our office.