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Ill. State Police and speeding

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Ill. State Police and speeding

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
October 20, 2012

On September 28 I emailed Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau to tell him about my experience driving on that morning on the Illinois Tollway from Huntley to O'Hare and back.

Speeders in the eastbound 45MPH work zone were traveling about 62MPH. On the flip side, westbound, in the 55MPH zone drivers were traveling an estimated 70MPH, with some as high as 75-85MPH.

Yesterday a sergeant in Springfield responded on behalf of Director Grau, leading off with "The ISP strictly enforces all of our “Fatal Four” traffic offenses – speeding, driving under the influence, failure to wear seat belts, and distracted driving when observed." (It used to be the Fatal Five; tailgating and improper lane usage have been replaced by distracted driving.)

" ... strictly enforces ... speeding..", eh? Not so!

A strict enforcement of speeding would be, in my opinion, 1) zero tolerance for speeders and 2) obeying speed limits themselves.

How many times have you been passed by a Trooper traveling 10-15MPH over the speed limit, no red lights or siren, just going down the road and leading a long line of cars also speeding?

If Troopers themselves began obeying speed limits, this would go a long way to turning the tide in Illinois (and elsewhere) and restoring obedience to posted speed limits.

I support the use of PhotoRadar, not only in work zones (where the State Police must warn drivers with signs that PhotoRadar is in use), but on all Illinois highways, especially the Tollway, the Dan Ryan and the Edens and the Kennedy. Put cameras about every 3-5 miles. This way, a speeder will collect 2-3-4 tickets within minutes.

By the way, failing to wear a seatbelt is not a "cause" of a fatality and should not be listed in the Fatal Four (or Five). Failure to wear a seatbelt often results in a fatality, when a serious crash occurs as a result of speeding, DUI, distraction, etc. but, in and of itself, it is seldom a cause of a crash.

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