We all know what a construction zone looks like -- orange cones everywhere, blinking lights on reflective signs, men and women in hardhats working on the scene. Most states have specific traffic laws that must be followed when driving through a construction zone, including Illinois. In most cases, these laws are more strict than typical traffic laws. This is because these laws were put into place to protect the construction workers themselves, and also the drivers on the road. The most common construction zone violations are speeding violations, which are taken seriously by the state. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were, on average, nearly 5,200 construction zone crashes each year between 2012 and 2016. Of the 683 fatal work zone crashes reported in Illinois in 2016, more than 27 percent involved speeding as a factor. Because of the increased risk in a construction zone, penalties for breaking the law in a work zone are typically also more serious than regular speeding penalties.
In Illinois, the first and second time you are issued a speeding ticket in a construction zone, it is considered a petty offense, meaning you face fines, not jail time as a punishment for your ticket. You face a minimum fine of $375 for a first offense of speeding in a work zone, with a possible maximum fine of $1,000. For a second speeding ticket in a construction zone, a minimum fine of $1,000 is imposed. The Illinois Secretary of State will also suspend the driver’s license of anyone who commits a second offense of speeding in a construction zone within two years of the first offense for at least 90 days.
In some cases, you could actually face criminal charges for speeding in a construction zone. If you are found to have been going more than 25 mph, but less than 35 mph over the posted construction zone speed limit, you will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. This class of misdemeanors carries a possible jail sentence of up to six months and fines of up to $1,500. If you are found to have been going 35 mph or more over the posted construction zone speed limit, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.
Many people do not realize how serious a speeding ticket can become until they are in such a predicament. In some cases, jail time could even be a result of a simple speeding ticket. If you have been charged with any type of construction zone traffic ticket, you should speak with our Arlington Heights, IL traffic ticket defense lawyer. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law, has been helping clients defend themselves against construction zone traffic tickets for more than 25 years. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 847-253-3400.
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