As an Illinois driver, no one need tell you that construction zones become the rule rather than the exception during the summer months. While they, and the traffic jams they often cause, can try your patience, you nevertheless need to obey the decreased speed limits for your own safety, as well as the safety of the construction workers. Believe it or not, you as a motorist stand far more chance of becoming injured in a work zone accident than the construction workers. In fact, motorists account for roughly 90% of work zone fatalities.
The Illinois legislature has passed laws regarding work zone speed limits and the signs that proclaim them. Specifically, the signs must include the following:
- Work zone plaque
- Work zone speed limit
- Photo Enhanced plaque
- Work zone fine if you exceed the speed limit
Photo speed enforcement
Yes, Illinois law allows automated photographic detection of speeding motorists in work zones, whether or not construction workers are actually working in the zone. If the camera catches you exceeding the posted speed limit, you will receive the ticket in the mail. Such tickets require a mandatory court appearance. If convicted, you face a $375 fine if this represents your first offense. If this is your second work zone speeding conviction, you will pay at least $1,000 in fines. Furthermore, if your second conviction occurs within two years subsequent to your first conviction, the Secretary of State’s Office will suspend your driver’s license for 90 days.
Typical work zone speed reductions
If the roadway’s normal speed limit is 65 or 75 mph, it likely will reduce to 55 mph in a work zone. If the normal speed limit is 55 mph, a work zone will likely reduce it to 45 mph. These speed restrictions apply under the following conditions:
- Lane narrowings
- Lane reductions
- Lane closings
- Edge drop-offs
- Construction equipment posing a temporary obstruction
Further speed reductions may occur if and when construction workers are working in close proximity to active traffic lanes.