Speed vans ready to hit the road across Illinois roadways

| 3/1/2006

In the next few weeks, the Illinois State Police will be adding a stealthy new weapon to its construction-zone enforcement arsenal.

In March, the police will introduce camera-equipped vans, which will patrol construction zones across the state. Instead of pulling over drivers, the vans – which are capable of shooting photos of the driver and license plate of a vehicle – will not pull over motorists, but will instead send the tickets in the mail, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

First-offense tickets will come with a $375 fine attached, while a second offense will carry a $1,000 fine and a suspended license for 90 days, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Although the vans are only now going into service, large signs were placed along interstates in the state in December 2005, warning motorists that speed-enforcement cameras might be monitoring them.

The vehicles will be leased and operated by a third-party vendor for a monthly cost of about $6,000, according to the Central Illinois Pantagraph.

“We’re not purchasing the vans or equipment,” IDOT spokesman Matt Vanover told the Pantagraph. “We’re purchasing a service.”

Vanover told the Pantagraph he has not heard complaints from the public about the signs, despite the fact that the vans are not yet fully operational.

“We wanted to be able to get the information out as a public service,” he said.