Traffic

All Speeding Offenses Are Not Created Equal

Class Offenses

While most speed violations in Illinois are petty offenses, it is important to know that driving a motor vehicle 26 mph or more over the speed limit can be punishable by jail time. Driving 26 to 34 mph over the limit is actually a Class B misdemeanor, meaning that an offender can be sentenced to up to six months in a county jail for this offense. Driving 35 mph or more over the limit is a Class A misdemeanor, meaning that an offender can be sentenced to up to 364 days in a county jail. Moreover, court supervision is not available on the Class A misdemeanor offense; therefore, a conviction must enter on a finding of guilty on that charge. The conviction may impact your driving privileges. Consequently, it is imperative to seek legal advice prior to entering a plea of guilty to a significant speeding ticket.

(625 ILCS 5/11-601.5)Sec. 11-601.5.) Driving 31 miles per hour or more in excess of applicable limit.

  • A person who drives a vehicle upon any highway of this State at a speed that is 26 miles per hour or more but less than 35 miles per hour in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit established under this Chapter or a local ordinance commits a Class B misdemeanor.
  • A person who drives a vehicle upon any highway of this State at a speed that is 35 miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit established under this Chapter or a local ordinance commits a Class A misdemeanor.

Speeding in a School Zone

Although a petty offense, speeding in a school zone in Illinois carries a minimum $200 fine. Additional penalties include the entry of a mandatory conviction upon a finding of guilty. A mandatory conviction means that a defendant who pleads guilty to this offense is ineligible for court supervision. A conviction could result in the suspension of your Illinois driver's license. (625 ILCS 5/11-605) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-605) Sec. 11-605. Special speed limit while passing schools.

  • On a school day when school children are present and so close thereto that a potential hazard exists because of the close proximity of the motorized traffic, no person shall drive a motor vehicle at a speed in excess of 20 miles per hour while passing a school zone or while traveling on a roadway on public school property or upon any public thoroughfare where children pass going to and from school.

Speeding in a Construction Zone

    1. A law enforcement officer or operator of an emergency vehicle while performing his or her official duties.
    2. A driver using an electronic communication device for the sole purpose of reporting an emergency situation and continued communication with emergency personnel during the emergency situation.
    3. A driver using an electronic communication device in hands free or voice activated mode; or
    4. A driver of a commercial motor vehicle reading a message displayed on a permanently installed communication device designed for a commercial motor vehicle with a screen that does not exceed 10 inches tall by 10 inches wide in size.
    5. A driver using an electronic communication device while parked on the shoulder of a roadway; or
    6. A driver using an electronic communication device when the vehicle is stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the driver has the motor vehicle transmission in neutral or park.
      • A person may not operate a motor vehicle in a construction or maintenance speed zone at a speed in excess of the posted speed limit.
      • Nothing in this Chapter prohibits the use of electronic speed-detecting devices within 500 feet of signs within a construction or maintenance speed zone indicating the zone, as defined in this Section, nor shall evidence obtained by use of those devices be inadmissible in any prosecution for speeding, provided the use of the device shall apply only to the enforcement of the speed limit in the construction or maintenance speed zone.
      • As used in this Section, a "construction or maintenance speed zone" is an area in which the Department, Toll Highway Authority, or local agency has determined that the preexisting established speed limit through a highway construction or maintenance project is greater than is reasonable or safe with respect to the conditions expected to exist in the construction or maintenance speed zone and has posted a lower speed limit with a highway construction or maintenance speed zone special speed limit sign. Highway construction or maintenance speed zone special speed limit signs shall be of a design approved by the Department. The signs must give proper due warning that a construction or maintenance speed zone is being approached and must indicate the maximum speed limit in effect. The signs also must state the amount of the minimum fine for a violation.
      • As used in this Section: "Electronic communication device" means an electronic device, including but not limited to a wireless telephone, personal digital assistant, or a portable or mobile computer while being used for the purpose of composing, reading, or sending an electronic message, but does not include a global positioning system or navigation system or a device that is physically or electronically integrated into the motor vehicle. "Electronic message" means a self contained piece of digital communication that is designed or intended to be transmitted between physical devices. "Electronic message" includes, but is not limited to electronic mail, a text message, an instant message, or a command or request to access an Internet site.
      • A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device to compose, send, or read an electronic message.
      • A violation of this Section is an offense against traffic regulations governing the movement of vehicles.

Similarly, speeding in a construction zone carries significantly higher penalties. A first offense carries a minimum of $375 fines and court costs. A second offense carries fines and costs totaling a minimum of $1,000. Additional penalties include suspension of your driving privileges after a second violation. Speak to an attorney about your options prior to pleading guilty to a construction zone speeding ticket.

(625 ILCS 5/11-605.1) Sec. 11-605.1. Special limit while traveling through a highway construction or maintenance speed zone.

Driving While Texting

In 2010 Illinois passed a law making it illegal to text or send electronic messages while driving. While distracted driving is never a good idea, it is worth noting that a number of points that the law does not cover: GPS or navigation systems, iPods or other MP3 music players or devices that are part of the vehicle itself (such as a DVD player). Nor does it cover scrolling through one's phone in order to find a phone number in an address book or scrolling through one's personal device to review a calendar or task list. The statute also specifically states that this law counts as a moving violation.

If you are charged under this law, we encourage you to consult us at no cost to plot your best course of action on defending yourself against this ticket.

(625 ILCS 5/12 610.2) Sec. 12 610.2. Electronic communication devices.

DuPage County Traffic Courts
There are four traffic courts located in DuPage County:

(Click any of the links for more information on and location of the traffic courts in DuPage County.)

Addison Field Court

Downers Grove Field Court

Glendale Heights Field Court

Wheaton Field Court