To protect school children, road workers and other motorists from risk of injury, the state of Illinois strictly regulates speed in school zones and construction zones. Fines are increased sharply for these offenses, and a speed-related accident may trigger severe criminal charges.

If you were cited for exceeding the limit in a school or construction zone, it is important to understand the possible ramifications for your freedom, your finances, your license and insurance rates. Contact Martin & Kent, L.L.C., before paying the ticket to find out where you stand and how we may be able to help.


State law sets a speed limit of 20 miles per hour in school zones between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on school days. A first offense of speeding in a marked school zone is a petty offense with a minimum fine of $150 and subsequent violations are fined a minimum of $300. Fines may be increased for greatly exceeding the limit. Speeding when children are present at a crosswalk or exceeding the limit by 25 miles per hour or more can result in a criminal charge of reckless driving. Your insurance company may increase your premiums if a school zone violation goes on your record. You will be required to appear in court if children were present in the school zone at the time you were cited.

We also handle tickets for passing a school bus in a loading zone. This is punishable by a fine of $150 and three-month license suspension on a first offense, and a $500 fine and six-month suspension for a subsequent offense.


The penalties for exceeding the posted speed limit in a construction zone are very severe. A first offense carries a minimum fine of $375 and a subsequent construction zone violation will be fined at least $1,000. Fines may increase for excessive speed or other factors. You can be charged regardless of whether workers were present at the time. Speeding in a construction zone requires a mandatory court appearance.

Criminal Speeding

If you are accused of driving more than 25 miles per hour more than the speed limit in a school or a construction zone, you can be charged with aggravated speeding. This is a significantly more serious matter, as aggravated speeding is a criminal offense. Driving 26 or more than the limit is a Class B misdemeanor and driving 35 or more than the speed limit is a Class A misdemeanor. Not only will an aggravated speeding conviction affect your driving record but it will also result in you having a criminal record. In this situation, it is critical to have a skilled criminal defense lawyer handling your case.

The maximum penalties for a Class B misdemeanor in Illinois include a $1,500 fine, court costs, and up to six months in jail. For a Class A misdemeanor conviction, you could face a $2,500 fine, court costs, and up to 12 months in jail. The law does not allow Court Supervision in lieu of a conviction for aggravated speeding in a school or a construction zone. This means that a conviction will be entered on your criminal record if your charges are not reduced or dropped. Our attorneys work to reduce such charges to help you avoid a criminal conviction whenever possible.

Points on Your Driving Record

In addition to extensive fines, a conviction of speeding in a school zone or a construction zone will result in points added to your driving record. Violations are worth the following point amounts in Illinois:

  • Speeding in a school or construction zone = 20 points
  • Aggravated speeding in a school or construction zone = 55 points
  • Reckless driving = 55 points

Drivers who are convicted of three or more traffic offenses in one year face the possible suspension of their driver’s license. The length of a suspension will depend on how many points you have acquired. For example, if you have 20 points on your record, your license can be suspended for two months. A license with 45 to 74 points can be suspended for three months, and 75 to 89 points means a six-month suspension. If you have 90 to 99 points, you may have your driving privileges suspended for nine months and more than 100 points means a full year suspension. Points can add up quickly, so you always want to do whatever you can to defend against speeding allegations and avoid points whenever possible.

There are different ways our lawyers can defend against speeding allegations. For example, school zone and construction zone speed limits should be clearly posted on appropriate signs for drivers to see. Drivers must have enough notice of a reduced speed limit to be able to safely slow down and comply. If there was not the necessary signage to inform you of the school or construction zone, you should not be convicted of violating the speed limit. This is only one of many ways we can work to have your charges dismissed or reduced. We work to prevent points on your license or criminal penalties for serious speeding charges.


We do not recommend representing yourself in these matters. Our experienced lawyers are former prosecutors with decades of experience in the traffic courts of DuPage County, Kane County, and Cook County. We know what evidence can be challenged and which defenses or mitigating factors the court is willing to consider. We may be able to reduce the offense to a simple speeding ticket or, when the facts allow, get it dismissed entirely.

To talk with our attorneys about a school zone or work zone ticket, contact us today for a free consultation at (630) 474-8000. We have offices in Naperville.