Every state has its own individual definition and set of statutes on what actions constitutes reckless driving. Regardless of your state's definition, reckless driving is extremely dangerous and should not be condoned in any matter, regardless of the situation. The penalties for reckless driving can result in large fines and prison time. Obeying your local traffic laws is the only way to fully prevent these things from happening to you.
Reckless Driving in Illinios
The Illinois Vehicle Code defines reckless driving as being committed by anyone who "(1) drives any vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property; or (2) knowingly drives a vehicle and uses an incline in a roadway, such as a railroad crossing, bridge approach, or hill, to cause the vehicle to become airborne." Reckless driving constitutes a minimum Class B misdemeanor, and can reach up to a Class 3 felony in certain circumstances.
What Speeds Constitutes Reckless Driving
According to Illinois Compiled Statues chapter 5/11-601.5, driving in excess of 30 miles per hour over the posted speed limits is a reckless driving Class B misdemeanor. This misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail, and a $1,500 fine. The same chapter states that driving in more than 40 miles per hour over the posted speed limits is a Class A reckless driving misdemeanor. This offense is punishable by up to one year in jail, and a $2,500 fine.
If while driving in extreme excess of the posted speed limit you injure a child or school crossing guard, the reckless driving charge is escalated to a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to three years in state penitentiary and a fine of up to $25,000 dollars. You can also receive a Class 4 felony if you cause severe bodily harm to any other pedestrians. If your driving causes extreme harm or disability to a child or crossing guard, the charges are further escalated to a Class 3 felony, punishable by up to five years in state penitentiary and a fine of up to $25,000.
Regardless of the statute for reckless driving, it is never safe or smart to drive in excess of the speed limit. Such limits are placed by the state and municipalities for the safety of drivers and pedestrians. Violating these limits risks severe injury for yourself, your passengers, drivers around you and pedestrians.
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