Speeding in a School Zone Could Result in Jail Time

School is back in session, which means that many residential areas are suddenly much quieter during the day and homework clutters kitchen tables in the evening. As families with school-aged children get back into the swing of the school year, drivers throughout Illinois must take extra precautions when driving near school buildings as speeding in a school zone could result in hefty fines and points on their driving record. If a driver is going fast enough, he or she could even face time in jail.

Be Aware of School Zones

According to Illinois law, school zone speed restrictions may be put in place around any public, private, or religious elementary school, middle school, or high school. The law also applies to all types of nursery schools. During the school day—defined as between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. when school is in session—drivers may not exceed 20 miles per hour when “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.”

It is important to note that school zones must be properly marked by appropriate signs. Drivers are not required to guess where a school zone begins.

Penalties for Speeding

Speeding in a school zone is a petty offense which results in a minimum fine of $150 for a first offense and a minimum of $300 for a second or subsequent offense. A conviction also adds 20 points to a driver’s record. A driver who accumulates three traffic convictions in 12 months will be subject to a license suspension depending on the number points associated with the convictions, beginning with a two-month suspension for 15-44 points.

Drivers engaged in excessive speeding in a school zone, however, may face more serious charges. Excessive speeding is defined as traveling more than 26 miles per hour above the posted limit. Driving at least 26 miles per hour or more but less than 35 miles per hour over the speed limit is a Class B misdemeanor which carries up to 180 days in jail and fines of up to $1,500. Speeding at more than 35 miles per hour above a school zone limit is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines.

A Traffic Violations Attorney Can Help

If you have received a citation for speeding in a school zone or have been arrested for excessive speeding, it is important to work with an advocate who is dedicated to protecting your rights. Contact an experienced driver’s license reinstatement to discuss your case. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.

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