Speeding in a School Zone



Speeding in a school zone (625 ILCS 5/11-605)

If you are ticketed in Illinois for speeding in a school zone, you will need the help of an attorney to protect your driving privileges.  Speeding in a school zone is a petty offense punishable by up to a $1000 fine, a minimum fine of $150 for a first offense, a minimum fine of $300 for a second or subsequent offense, and a $50 surcharge.

Any primary or secondary school can have a school zone established around it, including public, private, and schools run by religious institutions.  The school zones are in effect from 7 AM until 4 PM and must be clearly established with signage that indicates the presence of a school zone, the 20 mile per hour speed limit in effect in the school zone, and the fact that the limit is in force only on school days when children are present.

Unlike other speeding tickets, the police are allowed to enforce a school zone speed limit within 500 feet of the sign which establishes the limit.  Also, unlike most other speeding tickets, school zone speeding tickets are not eligible for court supervision which keeps the ticket from being entered on your driving record as a conviction.

In order to secure a conviction for speeding in a school zone, the prosecution must prove that;

(1) There was a school zone in effect at the location you were ticketed and that zone had proper signage;

(2) You were exceeding the posted limit of 20 miles per hour while you were in that properly established and signed school zone;

(3) That the violation occurred between 7 AM and 4 PM on a school day; and

(4) That there were children were present in such close proximity to the traffic that it constituted a hazard to those children.

The fourth point of proof is often the most difficult for the State to prove.  Often, police officers don’t take note of the proximately of the children, or, if they do, exaggerate the hazard that was posed to those children.  An experienced traffic attorney can effectively cross-examine a police officer and show that his knowledge regarding signage, time of day, and whether or not there were children present is lacking.  An experienced traffic attorney can also negotiate effectively with the State’s Attorney’s Office to obtain a more favorable disposition short of a trial on the ticket.

If you have been ticketed with Speeding in a School Zone, contact the attorney’s at Hall, Rustom & Fritz for a consultation on your case.


Below is the precise statute published in the Illinois Compiled Statutes.  If you are cited for this violation, email Jeff Hall at jhall@hallrustomfritz.com.

Sec. 11-605. Special speed limit while passing schools.

(a) For the purpose of this Section, “school” means the following entities:

(1) A public or private primary or secondary school.

(2) A primary or secondary school operated by a religious institution.

(3) A public, private, or religious nursery school.

On a school day when school children are present and so close thereto that a potential hazard exists because of the close proximity of the motorized traffic, no person shall drive a motor vehicle at a speed in excess of 20 miles per hour while passing a school zone or while traveling on a roadway on public school property or upon any public thoroughfare where children pass going to and from school.

For the purpose of this Section a school day shall begin at seven ante meridian and shall conclude at four post meridian.

This Section shall not be applicable unless appropriate signs are posted upon streets and highways under their respective jurisdiction and maintained by the Department, township, county, park district, city, village or incorporated town wherein the school zone is located. With regard to the special speed limit while passing schools, such signs shall give proper due warning that a school zone is being approached and shall indicate the school zone and the maximum speed limit in effect during school days when school children are present.

(b) (Blank).

(c) Nothing in this Chapter shall prohibit the use of electronic speed-detecting devices within 500 feet of signs within a special school speed zone indicating such zone, as defined in this Section, nor shall evidence obtained thereby be inadmissible in any prosecution for speeding provided the use of such device shall apply only to the enforcement of the speed limit in such special school speed zone.

(d) (Blank).

(e) A first violation of this Section is a petty offense with a minimum fine of $150. A second or subsequent violation of this Section is a petty offense with a minimum fine of $300.

(f) When a fine for a violation of subsection (a) is $150 or greater, the person who violates subsection (a) shall be charged an additional $50 to be paid to the unit school district where the violation occurred for school safety purposes. If the violation occurred in a dual school district, $25 of the surcharge shall be paid to the elementary school district for school safety purposes and $25 of the surcharge shall be paid to the high school district for school safety purposes. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the entire $50 surcharge shall be paid to the appropriate school district or districts.

For purposes of this subsection (f), “school safety purposes” includes the costs associated with school zone safety education, the Safe Routes to School Program under Section 2705-317 of the Department of Transportation Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois, safety programs within the School Safety and Educational Improvement Block Grant Program under Section 2-3.51.5 of the School Code, and the purchase, installation, and maintenance of caution lights which are mounted on school speed zone signs.

(g) (Blank).

(h) (Blank).

(Source: P.A. 96-52, eff. 7-23-09.)

If you are charged with Speeding in a School Zone, it is important that you contact an experienced traffic attorney to represent you.  Attorney Jeff Hall is a former chief traffic prosecutor in Central Illinois and he can assist you.  Email Jeff at jhall@hallrustomfritz.com.