Got a lead foot? Not wearing a seat belt? No valid driver's license? It's going to cost you big time in the near future.
After nearly 17 years, traffic ticket fines are jumping nearly 60 percent starting September 15th. Former Chicago Dan Kocsis, in town for Jazz Fest, calls the hike "unbelievable."
So what's the breakdown. Fines for speeding 20 miles per hour or less is up from 75 to 120 dollars. Accelerate 20 or 30 miles over the posted speed and the penalties will cost you 140 bucks, up from 95 dollars.
Katy Kocsis tells NBC 5's Sharon Wright she knows the drill. She was just ticketed for driving over the speed limit and she says she takes full responsibility and hopes she'll never face another, especially with the higher penalties.
The premise behind the new hikes is not only safer roads, but to help prevent threatened Illinois State Police layoffs, which could affect 460 of its some 2000 officers. The increases in fines include a surcharge of up to 15 dollars earmarked for that state police funding. But in these challenging economic times, local municipalities worry the siphoning of those surcharge fees will make it even tougher to meet their needs.
While those like Henry and Kathy Eddings of Country Club Hills see the need to maintain state police staffing and safety on the road, they complain taxes and fees are always going up, yet taxpayers can't always be sure the money is always well spent.