If your involved in an accident in Illinois and the police officer makes the initial determination that you are at fault, you will like be given a ticket for “Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid an Accident.” Receiving the ticket means you have to go to court where you will plead “guilty” or “not guilty.” If you plead guilty, you will be given a fine and the court will either issue you a conviction on the ticket or give you court supervision. Along with the fine you will be required to pay “court costs” which in some cases will cost more than the actual fine.
If you plead “not guilty” the court will pass the case until the end of the court call to have a hearing. At the hearing the State will be required to prove that you caused the accident. The State will prove this by calling witnesses, for example, the person you were involved in the accident with and in some cases the police officer.
If you are found guilty after having a trial, the court will be less likely to give you court supervision and a lower fine.
The Illinois Statute is below:
(625 ILCS 5/11-601)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-601)
General speed restrictions.
(a) 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 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. 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.
(b) No person may drive a vehicle upon any highway of this State at a speed which is greater than the applicable statutory maximum speed limit established by paragraphs (c), (d), (e), (f) or (g) of this Section, by Section 11-605 or by a regulation or ordinance made under this Chapter.
The relevant provision is “Speed must be decreased as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person or vehicle. . . “ If there is an accident, pleading guilty can lead to total admission of civil liability for the accident. Therefore, consultation of your case with an attorney is necessary to prevent you from becoming responsible for far more than just a traffic ticket.