Illinois is tightening up its rules for traffic in highway work zones.
Two laws that would increase fines in work zones and authorize the use
of radar cameras to catch the speeders were signed into law
by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, his office said Aug. 19.
of the two new laws, HB7015, will increase fines on work zone speeders to as much as
$750. Minimum fines for first offenders increase to $375, and to $750 for
second or subsequent offenses. Some offenders could face a 90-day suspension of
their driver’s licenses if they have several violations in two years.
originally called for adding cameras or other recording devices to construction
zones and using that automated equipment to record violations of the lower work
zone speed limits. Those provisions were removed by the Senate.
However, the second bill signed into law by the governor, HB4012, did
contain a stamp of approval for the cameras.
HB4012 allows the use of the cameras during times when workers are
present in the construction zones. It also says that any automated traffic
control system must obtain a clear photograph or recorded image of the vehicle
operator – as well as of the vehicle and registration plate – while the driver
is speeding in a construction or maintenance zone.
If the driver cannot be identified using the photograph, the vehicle
owner is not liable for the fine. However, if the driver can be identified,
that person is fined – not the owner, if a person other than the owner is
HB4012 – introduced by Reps. Paul D. Froehlich, R-Schaumburg, John J. Millner, R-Carol Stream,
and Jim Sacia, R-Freeport – passed the House
March 30 by a vote of 113-2; it was approved by the Senate by 36-12 on May 19.
It is effective immediately.
introduced by Rep. Patrick Verschoore, D-Rock Island, passed the House April 1 by a
vote of 113-2, and was approved by the Senate May 17 by a vote of 53-2.
Blagojevich announced his support for the ideas behind the
two bills in April. At that time, his office not only called for radar cameras, but also mentioned
the possibility of Illinois Department of Transportation trucks manned by
out-of-uniform state troopers with radar equipment, who could use the
technology to monitor speeds in the work zone.
most Illinois drivers respect the hard work of roadway workers across the state
by slowing down in construction zones,” Gov. Blagojevich said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, there are a few drivers out there who don’t seem to understand
just how dangerous speeding through a work zone can be.”
to state figures, 46 drivers, passengers and workers died in accidents linked
to highway work during the past year alone.