Failing to pay court-ordered child support is frowned upon mightily anywhere in the US. In Chicago, deadbeat parents can be sanctioned in a number of ways, including the suspension of driving privileges. As it is clearly stated, driving is a privilege that must be earned and maintained by demonstrating a sense of safety and financial responsibility. Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® warns that failure to pay child support is an excellent example of being irresponsible about money and fulfilling obligations. In response, Illinois has the Family Financial Responsibility Act.

Known informally as the Deadbeats Don’t Drive Act (DDDA), the statute authorizes the court as well as the office of the Secretary of State (SoS) to impose sanctions on non-custodial parents who have not made court-ordered child support payments for 90 days or more. One of the more common sanctions is driver’s license suspension or revocation.

Under the DDDA, one of two things may happen that will signal the need for renewing ties with public transport for deadbeat parents. One, the circuit court will inform the SoS office that the non-custodial parent is in contempt of court (for being 90 days or more behind in child support) via the Record of Non-payment of Court Ordered Child Support Family Responsibility Law.

The SoS will then inform the parent who lives in Chicago that the license will be suspended in 60 days unless the parent complies with the court’s orders which typically includes Chicago SR-22 coverage, and will remain so until the court informs the SoS that compliance has been met. In case of hardship i.e. parent needs to drive to get to work in order to pay child support the SoS may provide the parent with a limited driving permit to be used only for work and for medical purposes.

Two, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) may also step in to request the SoS to suspend the deadbeat parent’s driving privileges. The DHFS is closely involved in ensuring that child support payments are made. The same compliance deadline is given to the parent as that with a court request.

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New MAIDS Cleans Up Hurt study

Motorcycle accidents are a serious problem not only in the US but the whole world. It prompted the follow-up study to the landmark 1981 comprehensive motorcycle safety report commissioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the US Department of Transportation called the Hurt Report.

The Motorcycle Accidents In Depth Study (MAIDS) was commissioned by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the latest version was made available online in 2009. It is not actually the only large-scale study conducted over motorcycle safety, but it is the only one that made use of the same methodology used for the Hurt Report, allowing a comparison to be made. This methodology is the Motorcycles: Common International Methodology for In-Depth Motorcycle Accident Investigation also called the OECD Common Methodology.

The new report revealed slight but disturbing variations from the findings in the Hurt Report. For one thing, there were more fatalities for people over the age of 40. Over 50% of the fatalities involved a road curve, and while more accidents occurred in urban areas, there was increase of incidents on rural roads.

The importance of these studies is that it brings up issues of motorcycle safety that need to be addressed. For example, human error was identified by both studies as the overwhelming cause of accidents, which can be minimized with proper training programs. The most frequent crash partner was a passenger vehicle, and in both studies, the cause of the accident was poor visibility of the motorcycle rider.

These are merely broad strokes in the minutely detailed reports that would prove invaluable to increasing motorcycle safety if programs based on these findings are designed and implemented properly. At the same time, motorcycle riders and other drivers should be made aware of their obligations when they are on the road. Failure to observe these obligations may be considered negligence if it results in serious injury or death, which in turn can mean civil liability.

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