Illinois Speed Limit Laws

Illinois Speed Limit Laws

Illinois Speed Limit LawsSpeeding is one of the leading contributors to vehicle crashes. You may drive at the maximum allowable speed only under safe conditions. For safety purposes, a minimum
speed limit may be posted along certain roadways. When minimum limits are not posted, drivers should not drive so slow as to create an interference with the normal movement of traffic. The following speed limits apply, unless otherwise posted:

  • Interstate tollways, freeways and some four-lane highways — 65 mph
  • Most other highways and rural areas — 55 mph
  • City/Town Areas — 30 mph
  • Alleys — 15 mph
  • School Zones — 20 mph (on school days between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. when children
    are present and signs are posted).

A driver must take care to slow down when approaching and crossing an intersection,
going around a curve, approaching the top of a hill or traveling on a narrow and winding roadway. Drivers must be aware that there may always be dangers present due to
pedestrians, traffic, weather, mechanical problems or road conditions.

Construction Zones

When approaching or entering a highway construction or maintenance area (also
known as work zones), Illinois law requires motorists to slow down, discontinue wireless/cellphone use, yield to any authorized vehicles or workers in the area, change to
a lane away from the workers when possible, and proceed with caution.

Emergency/Maintenance Vehicles

When approaching a stationary emergency/maintenance vehicle using visual signals,
Illinois law requires motorists to yield, change to a lane away from the emergency
workers when possible, and proceed with caution. If a lane change is not possible,
reduce speed and proceed with caution. Illinois law prohibits the use of wireless/cellphones within 500 feet of an emergency scene, except in certain circumstances.
When being approached by an emergency vehicle using audible and visual signals
(lights and/or sirens), Illinois law requires motorists to immediately pull to the right side
of the road and allow the emergency vehicle to pass. In some cases a complete stop
may be necessary to allow the emergency vehicle to pass. If stopped at an intersection
with two-way traffic, remain stopped until the emergency vehicle passes.

School Zones

When approaching a marked school zone between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., on days when
school is in operation and children are present, a driver must discontinue wireless/cellphone use, reduce speed to 20 mph, and stop and yield the right-of-way to any children
or adults in the crosswalk area.

Funeral Processions

Motorists encountering a funeral procession must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles in the procession. Motorists should NOT drive between vehicles in an organized
funeral procession, except when required to do so by a law enforcement officer; join
a funeral procession for the purpose of securing the right-of-way; or attempt to pass
any vehicle in an organized funeral procession, except where a passing lane has been
specifically provided.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • School Zones say ” when children are present” does that mean kids at the sidewalk and outside near roads or does “when present” mean in the school building that day during the 7-4 hours?

    • Hi David and thanks for the question. The “when children are present” statement does confuse things a little bit and leaves a lot of room for error (both by police officers and by drivers), but here is the exact statute for Illinois…

      625 ILCS 5/11-605) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-605)
      Sec. 11-605. Special speed limit while passing schools.
      (a) For the purpose of this Section, “school” means the following entities:
      (1) A public or private primary or secondary school.
      (2) A primary or secondary school operated by a religious institution. (3) A public, private, or religious nursery school.

      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.

      For the purpose of this Section a school day shall begin at seven ante meridian and shall conclude at four post meridian.

      This Section shall not be applicable unless appropriate signs are posted upon streets and highways under their respective jurisdiction and maintained by the Department, township, county, park district, city, village or incorporated town wherein the school zone is located. With regard to the special speed limit while passing schools, such signs shall give proper due warning that a school zone is being approached and shall indicate the school zone and the maximum speed limit in effect during school days when school children are present.
      (b) (Blank).
      (c) Nothing in this Chapter shall prohibit the use of electronic speed-detecting devices within 500 feet of signs within a special school speed zone indicating such zone, as defined in this Section, nor shall evidence obtained thereby be inadmissible in any prosecution for speeding provided the use of such device shall apply only to the enforcement of the speed limit in such special school speed zone.
      (d) (Blank).
      (e) A first violation of this Section is a petty offense with a minimum fine of $150. A second or subsequent violation of this Section is a petty offense with a minimum fine of $300.
      (f) When a fine for a violation of subsection (a) is $150 or greater, the person who violates subsection (a) shall be charged an additional $50 to be paid to the unit school district where the violation occurred for school safety purposes. If the violation occurred in a dual school district, $25 of the surcharge shall be paid to the elementary school district for school safety purposes and $25 of the surcharge shall be paid to the high school district for school safety purposes. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the entire $50 surcharge shall be paid to the appropriate school district or districts.

      For purposes of this subsection (f), “school safety purposes” includes the costs associated with school zone safety education, the Safe Routes to School Program under Section 2705-317 of the Department of Transportation Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois, safety programs within the School Safety and Educational Improvement Block Grant Program under Section 2-3.51.5 of the School Code, and the purchase, installation, and maintenance of caution lights which are mounted on school speed zone signs.


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