Illinois expressway signs warn of photo-enforced speed limits, but cameras are out of commission

John Garcia Image
Friday, June 28, 2024
IL expressway signs warn of speed cameras, which are not in commission
Illinois Department of Transportation expressway signs warn drivers of photo-enforced speed limits, despite the cameras being out of commission.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As the Illinois Department of Transportation is moving forward with a plan to bring speed enforcement trucks to the Chicago area, photo-enforced speed cameras have been out of commission along expressways and tollways, despite signs that warn about them.

This comes as more as drivers are being asked to slow down during a busy holiday travel time, especially in construction zones.

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Pre-holiday weekend traffic crawled along the southbound Tri-State Tollway Friday afternoon. Signs tell drivers to obey the speed limit in the construction zones, and many of the signs warn their speed is being monitored by camera, even though there are no cameras in place right now. For some, the threat is enough.

"Yes. Most definitely, I slow down," driver Robert Hoskins said.

The idea for IDOT is to protect drivers and their workers in construction zones. They recently have introduced trucks equipped with speed detection cameras, and state police can issue tickets.

Right now, the trucks are all downstate, but there are plans to put them in the Chicago area in the future. They said their goal is not for state police to give out tickets, but to get drivers to slow down.

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"The bottom line of the program is to get people to obey the speed limits," said Juan Pava with IDOT.

State law requires warning signs if there are speed cameras. A tollway spokesperson said they had them at one time. Either way, according to a study by IDOT and the University of Illinois, just having the signs up makes a big difference. Without them, 97% percent of drivers said they speed. With signs warning of cameras, only 43% said they speed.

"I see them, but it doesn't make me slow down, per se," driver Bre Roushar said.

Signs or no signs, cameras or not, on many expressways it makes little difference. That's because there is so much traffic, and there is little opportunity to get anywhere near the speed limit because of the traffic.

"I know for a fact I don't see cameras, so I'm not spotting on the e-way for anybody unless I see construction people out," driver Jaremy Dortch said. "That's when we actually wanna slow down."