Understanding Speed Limits and Traffic Violations on Illinois Roadways

St. Charles speeding traffic violation attorney

In today’s society, everyone is busy, often juggling work, school, family, and social obligations. Being overcommitted can lead someone to drive from place to place in a hurry. However, speeding endangers everyone on the road and can lead to tickets for traffic violations. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017, speeding killed 9,717 people, accounting for 26 percent of all traffic fatalities that year. Throughout the country, signs are posted along the roadway alerting drivers as to how fast they can drive. The speed limit has been set for a reason, and the only time drivers can exceed that limit is in emergency situations. Speed limits are put in place to protect the safety of everyone on the road. If they are not followed, a motorist can face serious penalties. 

Speed Limits Are Posted for Safety Reasons

All Illinois drivers are expected to know the speed limits for each type of road and obey the rules of the road while traveling. Speed limits vary depending on the location as shown below:

  • 70 mph for interstates and tollways

  • 65 mph for highways with four lanes

  • 55 mph for rural areas

  • 30 mph for city areas

  • 15 mph for alleys

  • 20 mph for school zones between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Although slower speed limits are often disregarded by drivers, they are posted to protect pedestrians and--in neighborhood areas--children at play. If a driver exceeds the speed limit, he or she runs the risk of hitting another car, striking a pedestrian, or swerving off the road and colliding with an object.

What Happens When You Speed?

Police officers enforce speed limits with the use of hand-held radar devices that measure airspeed as cars pass. Once they detect a vehicle traveling at an excessive speed, they will initiate a traffic stop. Then, a driver can expect to show his or her driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance for the officer to compile a report. Depending on the rate of speed, the officer may write up a moving violation ticket and issue it to the driver.

A driver will not receive his or her license back from the officer if he or she was traveling at least 20 mph over the limit. Other punishments include:

  • $120 fine for speeding 1-20 mph over the limit

  • $140 fine for speeding 21-25 mph over the limit

Simple speeding becomes aggravated speeding if someone is caught driving at least 26 mph over the limit. Charges turn into misdemeanor offenses, including:

  • Speeds of 26-34 mph over the limit is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,500 fine.

  • Over 35 mph over the limit is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by one year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

Contact a St. Charles Speeding Defense Attorney

Driving at a high rate of speed endangers other motorists as well as pedestrians who are on the road. Violating the speed limit can result in serious consequences, from a traffic ticket to an auto accident with injuries. If you or someone you know is fighting speeding charges and is facing possible jail time, you need professional legal counsel. The lawyers of the Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa have handled numerous traffic cases, and we can defend your rights and help you avoid losing your driving privileges. To schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Illinois traffic violation lawyer, call our office today at 630-232-1780.