An Illinois traffic ticket is often a major inconvenience. It can take 15 minutes or longer for an officer to complete a traffic stop. The person pulled over for an alleged moving violation may end up late to work or could miss important appointments.
Additionally, the citation that the officer issues carries a specific fine. Traffic offenses in Illinois can cost anywhere from $0 when the courts waive the fine to $1,000 depending on the alleged infraction that occurred. Frequently, people just pay their tickets because they assume that doing so is the fastest and most cost-effective solution. However, Illinois traffic tickets can cause numerous secondary losses for individuals that can go far beyond the cost of the actual ticket.
Increased insurance costs
Insurance companies charge specific premiums based on risk factors. Someone’s age, sex and driving history all contribute significantly to their annual insurance premium. A ticket could potentially increase someone’s insurance costs by up to 27%. Repeat citations could raise costs even more or leave someone ineligible for insurance through certain companies.
License suspension costs
If someone accrues too many points on their license from traffic citations, the state can suspend their license. The loss of driving privileges can quickly create financial challenges, such as the need to pay for taxis or rideshare services. The costs continue after someone qualifies to get their license back. Illinois charges a $500 driver responsibility fee that people must pay when reinstating a suspended license.
If someone loses their license due to excessive traffic infractions, that could affect their ability to do their job. They might also end up late for work repeatedly because they do not have reliable personal transportation. Citations can either alter how an employer views a worker or leave them unable to perform certain job functions. Both of those issues could potentially cost someone their job or diminish their likelihood of securing the best advancement opportunities in the future.
The decision to fight a ticket can help to protect someone’s driving record and minimize the long-term expenses that a traffic stop might generate. Determining the true long-term impact of a citation could help people understand why fighting Illinois traffic tickets is often a worthwhile endeavor.