Truckers who choose to ignore safety regulations may soon find themselves facing harsher penalties in the state of Illinois. Legislators in that state are considering stiffening the penalties for commercial truckers who willfully break safety laws, especially those surrounding driver fatigue and hours worked each week. This comes in large part as a result of a fatal truck accident last year that claimed the life of a tollway worker and left an Illinois state trooper seriously injured.
The deadly crash occurred along I-88 just outside Aurora while the tollway worker and trooper were assisting a semitrailer that had broken down along the highway. Despite the fact they had set up emergency lights, another truck failed to take appropriate steps to avoid a collision. As a result, the toll worker was fatally injured and the trooper suffered both serious burn injuries because of his squad car igniting into flames. He also suffered 13 broken ribs.
The truck driver who caused the collision and subsequent fire was later convicted of felony charges that included failure to comply with hours of service requirements and driving a commercial vehicle under the impairment of fatigue. He could face anywhere from probation to three years in prison for each charge, with those sentences to run concurrently. Some feel that this is a light sentence for recklessly taking lives after choosing to ignore the laws governing truck driver safety.
This includes some Illinois legislators, who introduced a bill that would stiffen the criminal charges and potential sentences for truck drivers who willfully violate such laws. Those who do so and cause death could be facing a Class 2 felony and a minimum of 3 years in prison. Those who injure (but do not kill) someone could face a Class 3 felony and 2 to 3 years of prison time. One Illinois lawmaker pointed out the fact that someone who simply crashes into a guard rail could face the same types of charges as someone who kills another individual, which he believes is unfair. He said it’s important to send out the message that it is not okay for truck drivers to ignore safety regulations and harm others.
If you or a loved one have been harmed as a result of a truck driver fatigue leading to a fatal truck accident, please contact us free of charge by dialing 1-888-586-7041. Our St. Louis truck accident law firm has represented clients in Missouri and Illinois in personal injury and wrongful death cases and takes pride in holding those who act negligently responsible for their actions. We can help you seek the financial restitution that you deserve and will gladly set up a free initial meeting so you can find out more about your rights under the law.
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Source Article: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20150304/news/150309475/