An Illinois traffic citation could leave a blemish on your driving record in the form of points for up to five years. If you accumulate too many points, your driver’s license could be suspended by the state. Drivers have a method for removing driving points from their record by attending an online Illinois traffic school.
The consequences of receiving an Illinois traffic ticket is more than the financial loss associated with the fine you are ordered to pay in court. Parking violations and traffic tickets for equipment violations, such as a broken headlight or a cracked windshield, do not result in points being added to your driving record. Illinois driving record points are assessed by the Illinois Secretary of State for traffic violations classified as moving violations. Examples of moving violations and the points associated with each of them include:
• Disobeying a red light – 20 points
• Having an open container of an alcoholic beverage in the passenger compartment – 25 points
• Speeding at speeds of 1 to 10 mph over the speed limit – 5 points
• Speeding at speeds of 11 to 14 mph over the speed limit – 15 points
• Speeding in excessive of 25 mph over the speed limit – 50 points
• Reckless driving – 55 points
Points can remain on your record for up to five years. Your driver’s license can be suspended for up to two months if you accumulate 15 to 44 points. The more points you have on your driving record, the longer is the suspension period. For example, a person with 109 points risks a 12-month suspension and 110 points or more results in the license being revoked
It is important for people who have gotten Illinois traffic tickets to be aware of the points on their driving record. Someone living in Chicago, where red light cameras are still in use, could have gotten a ticket and not been notified. A red light search could reveal the existence of a ticket.
One way to find out about points is by contacting the Illinois Secretary of State to request an abstract of your driving record. There are also commercial websites where you can conduct an online search of your driving record.
Attending Illinois traffic school can allow a person to avoid points being added to his or her record. Some counties in the state allow a motorist to enter a guilty plea to a traffic ticket and not the conviction reported to the Illinois Secretary of State if the person completes a traffic safety school within six weeks. There are, however, restrictions on how often a person can make use of the program, so checking with the court is a good idea.
Illinois traffic school courses can be completed online to avoid having to wait at the department of motor vehicles for hand in the certificate. Once you complete the course, the certificate can be accessed and sent online to the state as proof of successful completion.
The courses cover accident prevention, defensive driving tactics, rules of the road and awareness of hazards drivers experience when venturing onto the highways. Other topics covered include drug and alcohol abuse while driving, current traffic laws and tips to encourage safe sharing of the roads with other vehicles and pedestrians.
Traffic school courses usually run anywhere from four to 12 hours, but online courses are designed to be completed at the participant’s own pace. Individual’s taking the course as part of a court proceeding to avoid points being reported must comply with any limitations set by the individual course on the time within which it must be completed.
There are specialized traffic school courses for individuals convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Driver improvement courses imposed as part of the sentence in an alcohol- or drug-related driving offense place an emphasis on drug and alcohol abuse.
Defensive driving courses and Illinois traffic school can result in a reduction of a person’s insurance premium upon completion of the course. Many insurance companies offer a discount to motorists who provide a certificate of completion showing they successfully completed the online course.
Completion of a defensive traffic course could be required as a condition to reinstating the driving privileges of a motorist whose license has been suspended or revoked. Completion of a defensive driving course does not necessarily result in points being removed from a person’s driving record, but it satisfies the condition set up the court or by the state in a particular case.
Illinois traffic school that satisfies the state’s requirements for removal of points from a person’s driving record, auto insurance discounts and traffic citation dismissal must be approved by the state. Approved courses are also called defensive driving courses or driver improvement courses.