Most speeding tickets in the Chicago area don’t go on driving records thanks to court supervision, a type of probation that helps speeders avoid license suspensions and higher insurance rates, says the Chicago Tribune. An analysis of secretary of state data showed that 57 percent of drivers found guilty of speeding last year received supervision, which kept their driving records clean.
The practice last year kept more than 160,000 Chicago-area speeding tickets off the state system that records drivers’ histories. The data reinforce a Tribune analysis that found that since 2006, area courts routinely have given supervision to speeders cited by state police for going 100 mph or faster. The probation has been granted regularly to drivers weaving at those speeds, even many who were drunk at 100 mph and beyond. Supervisions have been popular in area courts for the last three decades as a way for speeders to admit they did wrong but avoid any mention of it on their driving records. That way, insurance companies don’t see the ticket. The secretary of state’s office also can’t use the ticket as a reason to suspend a license. The insurance industry and traffic safety advocates have complained about how much Illinois courts grant supervision, saying it emboldens bad drivers to keep driving dangerously. In the last decade, reforms have led to centralized reporting of supervisions and a limit of two a year.