A number of major roads recently have been under construction in Lake and Cook County, Illinois. These roads have included I-294, I-94 and I-80 of the Tri-State Tollway and Illinois Route 41. The Illinois State Police and local police agencies routinely patrol construction areas on these and other roads looking for speeding and other perceived traffic violations.
Signs indicating lowered speed limits in construction areas typically are posted a minimum of one-half mile before the start of construction zones. The reduced speed limits apply whether or not construction zone workers are present. Generally, speed limits in highway construction zones are reduced to 45 miles per hour, usually from either 55 or 65 miles per hour.
Because of these significantly reduced speed limits, drivers passing through construction zones frequently are ticketed for speeds well in excess of the posted speed limit. The Intersate 94 and Interstate 294 corridor stretching from Dempster Street in Cook County north through Lake County all the way to the Wisconsin border recently received a particularly high level of traffic and speed enforcement by the Illinois State Police. The recent construction zones on Illinois Route 41 in Park City and Gurnee in Lake County also received a high level of enforcement by local police agencies.
(625 ILCS 5/11-605.1)
Sec. 11-605.1. Special limit while traveling through a highway construction or maintenance speed zone.
(a) 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.
(b) 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.
(c) 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.
(d) A first violation of this Section is a petty offense with a minimum fine of $250. A second or subsequent violation of this Section is a petty offense with a minimum fine of $750.
(e) If a fine for a violation of this Section is $250 or greater, the person who violated this Section shall be charged an additional $125, which shall be deposited into the Transportation Safety Highway Hire back Fund in the State treasury, unless (i) the violation occurred on a highway other than an interstate highway and (ii) a county police officer wrote the ticket for the violation, in which case the $125 shall be deposited into that county's Transportation Safety Highway Hire back Fund. In the case of a second or subsequent violation of this Section, if the fine is $750 or greater, the person who violated this Section shall be charged an additional $250, which shall be deposited into the Transportation Safety Highway Hire back Fund in the State treasury, unless (i) the violation occurred on a highway other than an interstate highway and (ii) a county police officer wrote the ticket for the violation, in which case the $250 shall be deposited into that county's Transportation Safety Highway Hire back Fund.
(e-5) The Department of State Police and the local county police department have concurrent jurisdiction over any violation of this Section that occurs on an interstate highway.
(f) The Transportation Safety Highway Hire back Fund, which was created by Public Act 92 619, shall continue to be a special fund in the State treasury. Subject to appropriation by the General Assembly and approval by the Secretary, the Secretary of Transportation shall use all moneys in the Transportation Safety Highway Hire back Fund to hire off duty Department of State Police officers to monitor construction or maintenance zones.
(f-5) Each county shall create a Transportation Safety Highway Hire back Fund. The county shall use all moneys in its Transportation Safety Highway Hire back Fund to hire off duty county police officers to monitor construction or maintenance zones in that county on highways other than interstate highways.
(g) For a second or subsequent violation of this Section within 2 years of the date of the previous violation, the Secretary of State shall suspend the driver's license of the violator for a period of 90 days. (Source: P.A. 93-955, eff. 8-19-04; 94-814, eff. 1-1-07.)
*NOTE: Although every effort is made to include the law in its current state, no representation is made that the law as stated on this website is current. Legislative changes may occur before those changes are reflected on this website. Additionally, laws and legal precedent other than those found on this website may apply to your particular case. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that before acting upon any content you view on this or any other website, you first consult competent legal counsel.
If your traffic ticket alleges a violation of 625 ILCS 5/11-605.1 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, you have been charged with the moving violation of speeding in a construction, maintenance or work zone. This moving violation carries a higher minimum fine and harsher possible penalties than a regular speeding ticket. If you are found guilty of this violation, the court is required to assess a minimum fine of $375.00 in addition to court costs. This fine applies even if you are placed on court supervision. If you are found guilty of this same violation a second time, the minimum fine grows to $1,000.00.
Additionally, if previously you violated the law against speeding in a construction, maintenance or highway work zone within 2 years of being charged with a second violation, and you are found guilty of the second alleged violation, the Secretary of State will suspend your driver's license for 90 days.
Speeding in construction, maintenance or highway work zone tickets are required to be marked "must appear" by the reporting police officer. Therefore, such tickets require an appearance in court. You are not permitted to dispose of these tickets by mail or by paying a fine "over the counter" at the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
There is a law in Illinois that allows the Illinois State Police to operate “automated traffic control systems,” also known as “photo enforcement vans," in order to issue traffic tickets to drivers allegedly caught speeding in construction zones.
Illinois State Police are permitted to issue these tickets only when workers are present in the construction or maintenance zone being monitored. The law requires the prosecution to prove that one or more workers were present when the violation allegedly occurred.
The automated systems the Illinois State Police are permitted to use include radar and laser speed guns and high speed cameras. Together, these devices are required to produce clear photographs or other recorded images of the vehicle, the person driving, the license plate, speed, date, time and location of the alleged speeding violation.
Signs indicating that speed limits are being enforced by automated traffic control systems must be posted clearly in the areas where the systems are deployed. Because the system is “automated,” a real, live police officer is not required to be present or to witness the alleged violation.
If the driver cannot be identified through the photograph, the registered owner of the vehicle is not liable for any fine, and the traffic ticket may not be counted against the driving record of the owner. If the driver can be identified, the driver is liable for the fine, and the violation is counted against his or her driving record.
In order to prosecute an alleged automated speed violation, the police must deliver or mail a traffic ticket to the registered owner of the vehicle. The information contained on the traffic ticket, and the method by which the ticket is mailed, must conform with certain additional legal requirements. The text of the “Automated Traffic Control Systems in Highway Construction or Maintenance Zones Act” may be found at 625 ILCS 7/1, et seq., in the Illinois Vehicle Code.
Automated speed enforcement violations carry the same penalties as construction zone speeding tickets issued under Section 5/11-605.1 of the Illinois Vehicle Code. The State Police recently have made heavy use of a photo enforcement van in Cook County, in the construction zones on Illinois State Route 53.
Matt Hoffman has over 14 years' experience handling speeding in construction, maintenance and work zone violations in Illinois courts. He understands and appreciates the potential punishment that can be imposed if you are found guilty and convicted of this ticket. As a former Lake County traffic court prosecutor, Matt is able to identify and exploit legal and factual issues that can greatly benefit the outcome of your case.
Matt appears routinely in the Lake County, Illinois traffic courts located in Park City, Round Lake Beach, Mundelein and Waukegan, in the Cook County, Illinois traffic courts located in Rolling Meadows and Skokie, and the McHenry County, Illinois traffic courts located in Woodstock and McHenry. Frequently, he defends construction zone tickets issued by the Illinois State Police. The State Police have issued many such tickets lately to people driving in Lake and Cook counties on I-94. Because Matt practices in jurisdictions that have hosted a great deal of road construction, Matt has amassed much experience defending clients facing construction related speed violations.
Just because you have been charged with an offense does not mean that you are automatically guilty. A traffic ticket is merely an allegation. Because of this, Matt knows that until you either plead guilty or are found guilty, you are presumed innocent of the charge. Thus, in representing you in traffic court, Matt will explore creative solutions for resolving your case, always with an emphasis on protecting your driving record. These solutions can include seeking the dismissal of the charge, plea bargaining and negotiating for controlled results or lesser or amended charges, and even trial. Matt has over 14 years' experience as a trial lawyer.
The Law Office of Matthew T. Hoffman P.C. represents clients charged with construction zone speeding tickets and all other moving violations in the Lake, Cook and McHenry County, Illinois traffic courts.
There are many different police departments that forward construction zone speeding tickets to the eight local traffic courthouses in Northeastern Illinois for disposition. These courthouses include those located at Park City, Round Lake Beach, Mundelein, Waukegan, Rolling Meadows, Skokie, Woodstock and McHenry. If you were ticketed for a construction zone speeding violation within the jurisdiction of any of these eight court venues, it is likely that you were cited by one of the following police departments. The Law Office of Matthew T. Hoffman P.C. defends clients charged with traffic violations issued by these and other area police agencies: