School Zone Speeding Tickets
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Illinois drivers should always be aware of the speed limit. This is especially true in school zones, as the penalties for speeding a school zone can be higher and more severe.
The speed limit in a school zone is 20 miles per hour (see 625 ILCS 5/11-605). This is often a sharp decrease from the usual speed limit, making it easy for even the most cautious of drivers to unknowingly violate the law.
Fines for Speeding in a School Zone in Illinois
Speeding in a school zone in Illinois is a petty offense. This means it is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. If it is the driver’s first violation, the minimum fine is $150. For a second or subsequent violation, the minimum is $300.
However, the biggest problem is that you are not eligible for supervision when charged with a school zone speeding ticket. Supervision is a disposition that allows you to avoid a conviction on your record. Since this is not available, the likelihood of having a conviction on your record increases. Having a conviction means that points will be assessed on your license and your insurance rates can increase. Depending on your previous driving record, it is possible to have your license suspended if you are convicted of speeding in a school zone.
For this reason, it is especially important that you contact an experienced traffic defense attorney if you are charged with speeding in a school zone.
How to Fight School Zone Speeding Tickets in Illinois
The lawyers at Driver Defense Team are experienced in fighting school zone speeding tickets. When you hire our firm, we will review your case for opportunities to get the ticket dismissed or improve your potential outcome. Driver Defense Team will determine the following:
- Was it actually in a school zone?
- Were you on a public roadway or thoroughfare?
- Were children in a close proximity?
- Was it between the hours of 7:00 am and 4:00 pm?
- Were the appropriate signs posted?
- How did the officer determine your speed?
- What is your driving record?
- What are your chances at trial?
- Are there other ways to avoid a conviction on your record?
Ineligible for Court Supervision
Speeding in a School Zone is one of the few traffic tickets that do not allow for court supervision. This means that if you are found guilty or plea guilty, you will have a conviction entered on your record. This is exactly what you want to avoid because it can suspend your license (depending on your prior record), increase your insurance rates, and generally result in a bad driving record.
Avoiding a conviction is our number one goal. This can be done by either reaching an agreement for a reduced or amended charge or by winning at trial.
What is Considered a School Zone?
Illinois law defines a “school” broadly. It includes not only public, private and religious schools, but also primary, secondary and even nursery schools.
A school zone includes the area in front of the school and also “any public thoroughfare where children pass going to and from school.” Usually, the school zone extends at least a few hundred feet to either side of the school.
If the school zone speed limit of 20 mph is going to be enforced, the law requires that school zones be marked with the appropriate signs. The signs must give proper warning that the school zone is being approached. It must include the maximum speed limit in effect during school days when school children are present.
Must Children be Present?
The law states that children must be present and “so close thereto that a potential hazard exists because of the close proximity of the motorized traffic.”
In other words, the children must be so close to the traffic that speeding is a potential hazard. This is very subjective language and two reasonable people can disagree as to whether something is a hazard.
Most judges would be reluctant to say that even though there were children present and even though the driver was speeding, there was not a hazard. From experience, most judges will assume that scenario presents a hazard.