Bill would toughen punishment for extreme speeders
March 22, 2010 9:37 AM | No Comments
A proposal to toughen punishment for extreme speeders could get its first legislative test this week.
The proposal, prompted by a Tribune investigation, bars judges from issuing court supervision for those going at least 40 mph over the speed limit. The supervision, a special kind of probation, keeps the driving record clean.
The language, drafted last week, must clear a powerful House committee before it can be considered for passage. The bill's sponsor, state Rep. John D-Amico, Chicago, said he expects the Rules Committee to vote on it this week.
In a story published Sunday, the Tribune found that judges in the Chicago area gave court supervision to nearly two-thirds of drivers who pleaded guilty to speeding at 100 mph or faster.
That included those who were also cited for driving erratically at that speed, and some whom police cited for being drunk. Even repeat offenders, given the deal once for going that fast, were caught going that fast again and given the deal again.
That frustrated the Secretary of State's office as well as D'Amico, who chairs the House Vehicles and Safety Committee, where the bill could be sent for its next test.
"When you're going 40 mph over the speed limit, you're really being reckless and you're putting the lives of innocent people in your hands," D'Amico said. "They should not be allowed to get supervision."
-- Joe Mahr