Illinois Statute: 625 ILCS 5/11-1204

Though other legal issues may be deemed in society as more serious, litigation related to the rules of the road can be just as intense. When operating a motor vehicle, weighing tons upon tons and traveling at high speeds, the person behind the wheel has the responsibility of providing safety for themselves and those around them. Failure to do so can have catastrophic consequences including vehicle or property damage, personal injury, and even death in the worst case scenario. In order to regulate the amount of traffic on the roads, strict guidelines are in place to ensure a uniform sense of security, for motorists, bikers, and pedestrians alike. Though the specifics of the rules of the road can vary state to state in the United States of America, and surely look different as you travel across the world, one rule remains the same. Some may argue that this is in fact the most imperative rule of the road, so much so that failing to adhere to this guideline can halt someone from receiving their license when taking a road test through the department of drivers services. 

Failing to stop at a stop sign can cause serious consequences. Unfortunately though, disregarding a stop sign is a very common citation in Illinois. In order for a police officer or traffic cop to flag someone for not stopping at a stop sign, they will have seen a clear breech in the rules. You may get this ticket if you roll through a stop sign without coming to a complete stop, or you may get this ticket as well if you are seen intersecting the roadway before entering, meaning if you stop well beyond a clearly marked stop line.

This is why approaching yield and stop signs as authorized is extremely important, and that you take a keen notice of the traffic control signal of every driver around you. Some people think that they can get away with running a stop sign, but sometimes police cars remain hidden in order to catch drivers, and some places even have cameras and detectors involved in order to be able to issue tickets after the fact.

Disobeying a stop sign can have serious consequences, including fines, points on your record, and even a license suspension if you have become a repeat traffic offender. Either way, you should consult with an experienced traffic attorney to see if legal representation is right for you.

Stop Signs: The Law In Illinois

Every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection OR in the event there is no crosswalk, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, BUT IF NONE, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic before entering the intersection.

What is the penalty for running a stop sign in Illinois?

This is a petty offense with a maximum penalty of up to a $1,000 fine.

You CAN receive court supervision if you are guilty of this offense. Court supervision can prevent a disregarding a stop sign citation from going on your driving record. You must comply with the terms of supervision (i.e. pay your fines and complete your traffic safety school) in order to satisfy supervision.

General Outcome In A Stop Sign Violation Case

Small fine plus court costs ($226) and a period of court supervision.

This is a Court Supervision eligible offense. A driver’s eligibility is mostly based on age and prior driving history.

Read more about Court Supervision.

Can you be convicted for a stop sign violation?

Yes, this depends on several factors, including your age and prior driving record.

Common Examples of Stop Sign Violations

Rolling a stop sign: At trial, a police officer will testify that he is looking for the vehicle to come to a complete stop indicated by a rocking back motion.

Stopping beyond the stop line: If a police officer is being picky, if you stop with any of your tires over a clearly marked stop line, he can issue a citation.

Stopping in a cross walk: If there is no stop line at an intersection with a stop sign (rare), but there is a crosswalk, you need to come to a complete stop before your tires enter the crosswalk.

Be careful, this type of citation can lead to DUI investigations, searches for illegal transportation of cannabis in a motor vehicle, or the discovery of a suspended license or no insurance.

Fighting Stop Sign Tickets

Generally, stop sign tickets can turn into a “he said, she said” situation. However, with more squad cars being equipped with dash cam footage, trial can be rather difficult. The statute is fairly definitive, but there are definitely situations that the government cannot prove.

Some obvious defenses include evidence of stopping, the evidence of a faded stop line or crosswalk, or a poor view of the intersection from the officer’s vantage point. Many questions can be asked of an officer or witness on cross examination regarding these possible defenses.

In some cases, an accident occurs that causes an officer to issue a disregarding a stop sign citation. In this scenario, a trial should always be requested. Its always a good strategy to make civilian witnesses show up for trial because, oftentimes, they fail to appear for trial and the prosecutor has to dismiss the charge on the trial date.When it comes to stopping versus rolling, or clearly marked lines, there is a lot of room for debate and a qualified trial lawyer should be employed if you wish to contest your stop sign ticket.