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    Illinois Traffic Tickets

    Getting a traffic ticket can be very stressful. It will probably cost you money, you may get points on your IL driver's license, and your insurance rate can be affected.

    However, understanding your options and knowing what to do if you get a ticket can help ease the burden.

    Read below for more information about traffic tickets in Illinois, from the moment you're pulled over until you pay your fine.

    What to Do During a Traffic Stop

    If you are signaled by a police officer to pull over, turn on your blinker, slow down, and stop at the side of the road as soon as it is safe. It is crucial to indicate your intention to cooperate with the traffic stop, even if you keep driving until you reach a safe spot.

    Once at the side of the road, do not get out of the car unless instructed to do so by the police officer. Think at this moment of the manners your parents taught you. This is one time it pays to be polite, cooperative, and clear in your actions and in your speech. Keep your hands visible and do not make any sudden moves that could be interpreted as reaching for a weapon.

    Since you know you may need to present your car registration, it's tempting to immediately reach across to get it out of the glove compartment. This could be a mistake because to the cop, it looks like the same move someone would make if they were reaching for a firearm.

    Instead, wait until the officer is present at the side of your car and ask if you can get the materials out of the glove compartment.

    Stay calm and cooperative. If the officer issues you a ticket, you will have to sign it. This does not indicate your guilt. It simply acknowledges that you have received the ticket. There is no advantage to you in refusing to sign it.

    Points on Your Record

    The Illinois point system establishes how many points are added to your driving record for a traffic conviction. Accumulate too many points, and you could lose your IL driver's license.

    A list of the major traffic offenses and their assigned points is available in the  Illinois Traffic Offenses publication.

    Note that some offenses are so serious that instead of points being added to your record, your driver's license will be immediately suspended or revoked. Furthermore, many of the most serious offenses also have court penalties attached to them―possibly including additional fines and jail time.

    Traffic School

    If you are convicted of a moving violation and you have a clean  driving record, you may be given the option to attend traffic school and remove the offense from your Illinois record. You will still have to pay the traffic ticket, however.

    Traffic Safety

    The best way to handle a traffic ticket, of course, is to avoid getting one in the first place. This is easy if you drive safely and legally. To help motorists learn good driving habits, the IL Secretary of State has posted a number of traffic safety publications online, including the following:

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