Illinois Speeding Laws

Basic Speeding Law: A person shall not drive a vehicle upon any highway at a speed which is greater than is reasonable and proper with regard to traffic conditions and the use of the highway, or endangers the safety of any person or property.   625 ILCS § 5/11-601(a)

Penalty for Exceeding Speed Limit

A first time violator may be:

  • fined not more than $1,000, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended not more than one year.

Penalty for Reckless Driving

A first time violator may be:

  • fined not more than $2500
  • sentenced to jail time of not more than one year, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended not more than one year.

Speed Limits

  • 65 MPH on Illinois toll highways and on highways that are divided and have at least 4 lanes 
  • 55 MPH on all other highways, roads or streets outside an urban district 
  • 55 MPH for Second Division Vehicles weighing more than 8,001 lbs.
  • 30 MPH in an urban district
  • 15 MPH in an urban district alley

Illinois Speeding Laws

Illinois has what is known as an “absolute” speed limit law. There is no trick to how this works: If the sign says 40 mph and you drive 41 mph or more, you have violated the law. In other words, you are guilty if you drive over the speed limit. In Illinois you may be able to make three possible defenses:

  • Attacking the officer’s determination of your speed. To do this you must discover what method the officer used to cite you and then learn about the ways to attack that particular method.
  • Claiming an emergency forced you to exceed the speed limit to avoid serious damage or injury to yourself or others.
  • Claiming that the officer mistook your car for another car. With so many similar-looking cars, it is possible that a cop could see a speeding car, lose sight of it around a corner, and then wrongly pick out your car farther down the road.

Note that in Illinois you can be ticketed for driving at an unsafe speed, even if that speed does not violate the posted limit -- for example, driving exactly at the maximum mph posted limit on the freeway amidst slower and heavy traffic, in a dense fog, or in a driving rainstorm or blizzard.

Point System

The following points are assigned for speeding or speed related offenses:  Reckless driving-55 points; squealing or screeching of tires-10 points; speeding too fast for conditions-10 points; 1 to 10 MPH above the speed limit-5 points; 11 to 14 MPH above the speed limit-15 points; 15 to 25 MPH above the speed limit-20 points; over 25 MPH above the speed limit-50 points; exceeding the maximum speed limit in a school zone-20 points; driving below the minimum speed limit-5 points; driving below the minimum speed limit on an Illinois Tollway-20 points; not driving in the right-hand lane when proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic-20 points; and, exceeding the maximum speed limit on a bridge or elevated structure-10 points.

If a person's license is suspended or revoked as a result of 3 convictions within 12 months, the following point schedule is used to determine licensing action.  (1) If there has been no prior suspension or revocations within 7 years, the following licensing action is taken:  0 through 14 points-no action; 15 through 44 points-2 month suspension; 45 through 74 points-3 month suspension; 75 through 89 points-6 month suspension; 90 through 99 points-9 month suspension; 100 through 109 points-12 month suspension; and, 110 or more points-revocation (1 year).  And, (2) if there has been 1 or more prior suspension or revocations within 7 years, the following licensing action is taken:  0 through 14 points-no action; 15 through 44 points-4 month suspension; 45 through 74 points-6 month suspension; 75 through 109 points-12 month suspension; and, 110 or more points-revocation (1 year). Learn more about the point system in Illinois.

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