Operating a motor vehicle in a manner that knowingly overlooks road safety could constitute reckless driving.
In Illinois, reckless driving is a misdemeanor charge with serious consequences. Therefore, drivers should be familiar with actions that law enforcement considers reckless driving.
Effects of a conviction
The punishment for a reckless driving conviction includes up to $2,500 in fines and a possible jail sentence lasting less than a year. Although reckless driving is not a felony, it does add a point to the offender’s driver’s license. Furthermore, drivers often pay high auto insurance premiums after a reckless driving charge. In a 12-month period, if someone commits more than three moving violation traffic offenses, including reckless driving, that person could face a license suspension.
Aggravated reckless driving is a separate charge for offenders whose conduct results in disfigurement, disability or serious injury to another person. It is a felony offense that can result in up to three years in prison and a fine of $25,000.
Reckless driving behaviors
The law defines reckless driving broadly, and any actions that willfully disregard safety on the road can lead to charges. For example, running a red light or stop sign constitutes reckless driving. Furthermore, swerving or changing lanes unsafely can result in a reckless driving charge. Reckless driving can also include excessive speeding, particularly near a school or worksite. A driver could even face a reckless driving charge for cell phone use. Finally, in some intoxicated driving cases, an offender might receive a reckless driving charge along with or instead of a DUI.
Reckless driving is a serious traffic offense that counts as a moving violation and could result in fines, jail time and increased insurance costs. Additionally, reckless driving compromises safety and endangers lives on the road.