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Illinois truck drivers may face tougher penalties for negligence

Recent legislation approved by the Illinois House aims to toughen penalties against negligent and drunk truck drivers. The legislation has been issued in the wake of frequent horrifying accidents caused by truck drivers, some of whom deliberately violated safety rules.

If the bill is passed by the Senate, it would make hitting and killing someone due to sheer negligence a Class 2 felony. This means the driver potentially could be sentenced to three to seven years in jail and be assessed a fine of up to $25,000.

According to a state representative, many times, truck drivers willingly drive for longer periods of time than allowed and then provide false information in their logbooks concerning their rest periods. Then, these same truck drivers give fatigue and sleeplessness as excuses for causing truck accidents. The lawmakers believe that truck drivers often willingly drive for longer periods of time. They need to act responsibly and follow all federal and state truck regulations.

Even if you drive carefully and follow all laws responsibly, there is the possibility you can be killed or injured in a truck accident. A series of high-profile truck accidents in the past has encouraged the lawmakers to consider this new proposal. The new bill, which is expected to take effect later this year, would make truck drivers log their number of driving and rest hours electronically in order to avoid any confusion in the future.

The tougher penalties are likely to encourage truck drivers to drive responsibly, which will reduce the number of accidents and serious injuries. If you or any of your loved ones fall victim to a truck accident, seeking the advice of an expert personal injury lawyer can have its advantages. A professional lawyer can help you understand your rights as an accident victim and seek fair compensation for your pain and suffering.

Source: The Southern Illinoisan, "Tougher truck driver penalties advance to Senate," Jordan Maddox, March 13, 2015

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