Speeding. Many people do it. That doesn’t make it right, but it does give you an idea of just how dangerous the roads in Illinois and beyond have become.
It’s crucial that drivers travel to their destinations safely and legally, meaning that they abide by the traffic laws in the state.
Speeding is a traffic violation. Often, it’s a petty offense that results in a ticket and a fine, but it can easily slip over into a criminal act if you’re not careful.
Here’s what you need to know about speeding in Illinois and when a petty offense becomes a serious one that can impact the rest of your life.
How Fast Should You Be Driving?
Every road in Illinois is labeled with a speed limit under the law. If a sign isn’t present telling you the speed limit, then drivers are still responsible for understanding the proper speed for the type of road they’re on and the conditions of the road. The different types of roads and their speed limits in Illinois include:
- 15 miles per hour (mph) in alleys
- 30 mph on city roads
- 55 mph on highways outside of urban centers
- 65 mph on highways and some four-lane roads outside of the city
You should always follow the speed limits listed when you’re driving. There are a few circumstances that can change the speed limit on the roadway, such as:
In the state of Illinois, anyone driving on the roads should reduce their speed and change lanes to keep the construction workers on the roads safe. Signs are posted at some sites to remind you that your speed should be reduced and what the new speed limit is.
Residential areas typically have a speed limit of 35 mph. However, in school zones between certain hours, that speed limit is reduced to 20 mph. All drivers must also yield to any child crossing the road in these zones.
If an emergency vehicle is approaching you on the road, then you must reduce your speed and change lanes to accommodate them. If you’re not on the highway, then you need to pull over to the side of the road until the emergency vehicle passes.
You must yield to cars in a funeral procession when you’re on the road. You also cannot drive between cars marked as a part of the funeral.
When You’re Caught Speeding
When you are pulled over by a police officer for speeding, how fast you were going, and what type of road you were traveling on will determine what penalties await you.
Most violations involve fines but some can result in fines as well as a driver’s license suspension and criminal charges. Speeding violations and their consequences include:
- $120 fine for going 1 to 20 mph over the posted speed limit
- $140 fine if going 21 to 25 mph over the posted speed limit
- Charges for a Class B misdemeanor that can result in up to six months in jail and fines up to $1,500 if traveling 26 to 34 mph over the posted speed limit
- Charges of a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and fines up to $2,500 if going 35 mph or more over the posted speed limit
Everyone makes mistakes when driving, but don’t let your inattention that results in speeding result in severe penalties.
About the Author
Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by Avvo (2013 and 2018), SuperLawyers (2015-2020), The National Trial Lawyers, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.