Photo speed enforcement coming to a street near you

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Illinois State Police will use a specially-equipped van to help enforce work zone speed limits in the Quad Cities area, and penalties for violations are steep.

The van will be deployed in State Police District 7, which serves Rock Island, Henry, Mercer and Knox counties in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Transportation explains the goal of photo speed enforcement is to increase safety in work zones.  Slower speeds are expected to improve work zone safety for motorists as well as for workers.

The photo enforcement vans are white, marked vans equipped with photo radar technology that detects and records vehicle speeds and captures images of the vehicle driver and license plate.

Interior of Illinois speed enforcement van - photo from Illinois Center for Transportation

Interior of Illinois speed enforcement van - photo from Illinois Center for Transportation

“Photo enforcement gives the Illinois State Police an additional tool for enforcing work zone speed limits. Drivers should be aware speed limits will be aggressively enforced.  District 7 will also be strictly enforcing Scott’s Law violations, which make it an offense if a driver fails to slow down and if safe to do so change lanes when police squad cars, other emergency or maintenance vehicles with flashing lights are on the shoulder,” state District 7 Commander, Captain Robert Atherton.

The photo speed enforcement van could be deployed at any work zone any time, day or night.  Legislation requires workers to be present when the photo speed enforcement van is used.  Signs will be posted to notify drivers that speeds will be photo enforced.

The DOT information says drivers have a chance to slow down before the camera is triggered.

“The vans have a speed indicator device that will be triggered by a separate radar and will communicate the vehicle's speed to the motorist.

This will give the motorist one last opportunity to slow down before the camera radar is triggered,” according to online information from the Illinois DOT.

Tickets are sent within 14 days by certified mail to violators caught by the photo enforcement van, and you must appear in court if you receive a photo speed enforcement citation.

Drivers convicted of photo speed enforcement violations face a $375 fine for a first offense.  The penalty for a second offense is a $1,000 fine and a 90-day driver’s license suspension.  A driver convicted of hitting a road construction worker in Illinois faces a $10,000 fine and up to 14 years in prison.