Lightford law stops putting people in jail for unpaid parking fines4th District

Lightford law stops putting people in jail for unpaid parking fines

Community Contributor

SPRINGFIELD | A plan led by Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) would reduce penalties from a Class A misdemeanor to a traffic citation for individuals driving with a suspended license due to unpaid parking fines, automated camera enforcement or unpaid child support.

“Putting people in jail for being too poor to pay parking fines or child support is counterproductive,” Lightford said. “We should be focused on helping people get on their feet instead of making life even harder for them.”

Currently, a person who drives  a motor vehicle while their license or permit is suspended or revoked for such offenses may be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail.  This penalty is the same for those whose license was suspended for a DUI.

“There is a big difference between not having enough money to pay bills and irresponsibly putting lives in danger. They should be penalized accordingly,” Lightford said.

House Bill 3920 allows an individual to receive three citations for driving with a suspended license for parking fines, automated camera enforcement or unpaid child support before it becomes a Class A misdemeanor.

The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

 

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