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Stupid decision in Illinois

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stupid decision in Illinois

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
May 2, 2011


One of the stupid decisions in Illinois was to make the 45MPH Work Zone speed limit the law on a 24/7 basis, whether or not construction is taking place. When you drive on Illinois highways and find yourself in a long work zone, day or night, weekday, holiday or week-end, the speed limit is, and is posted as, 45MPH.

The fine for a speeding ticket in a Work Zone? $375.00. And that's the Minimum Fine.

Maybe this is why you never see Illinois State Troopers working the work zone speed limit violations.

Yesterday I went into Chicago on (you guessed it) the I-90 Tollway. Had a nice ride, too, for the couple of miles between Route 47 and Randall Road, where the speed limit is 65MPH. And it wasn't too bad between Randall Road and the Elgin toll plaza, where the speed limit is 55MPH. But from the toll plaza east? There is a l-o-n-g Work Zone where the speed limit is 45MPH. Lots of orange barrels. No construction in progress. No construction workers. Not one.

Oh, yes. No cops, either. But you never know when one (the only one?) might be lurking or where the ISP van with the photo radar equipment might be operating. Yes, they are "supposed" to put out the warning sign. Do they? I don't want to find out. So I plodded along at 45MPH. It was a nice day for a motorcycle ride, and you do see more at 45MPH than you do at 55MPH.

So today I sent this message to the Tollway headquarters. If I hear from them, I'll let you know what they have to say.

"Yesterday (Sun., 5/1/11, 11:45AM) I drove eastbound on I-90 from Randall Rd. in the 45MPH Work Zone. HUNDREDS of cars and trucks passed me at 55-75MPH. Why is there no speed limit enforcement - ever - on this Tollway road? My health and life on a motorcycle are in extreme danger when I observe the posted speed limit and there is no enforcement. Please respond and tell me how you plan to address this danger. And please don't blow any smoke at me with a "typical" customer service response."

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