Illinois Speed Limit
What is the Illinois speed limit?
Illinois traffic laws define the maximum speed that any motorist travelling on Illinois roadways can legally drive. Driving over the Illinois speed limit can result in a traffic citation, fine, license suspension, or even arrest.
As of January 2014, interstate speed limits in Illinois are as high as 70 mph in rural areas. Minimum speeds are also in effect along most of Illinois' freeways and interstates, with reduced speed laws in effect for construction sites (active or inactive) and school zones.
There are a total of 16 states with higher maximum speed limits than Illinois.
Illinois Speed Limit - Rural Freeways
The maximum speed limit on rural freeways and interstates in Illinois is 70 miles per hour. "Rural freeways" are the sections of major highways that passing through rural and sparsely populated areas, and can safely allow faster driving. Rural highways will generally have the highest legal speed limits in Illinois.
Illinois Speed Limit - Urban Freeways
The maximum speed limit on urban freeways and interstates in Illinois is 65 miles per hour. "Urban freeways" are the segments of large highways that are located within a city or densely populated area's limits, and are generally more prone to traffic congestion and other hazards.
In most cases, the freeway's speed limit will return to the rural freeway speed limit of 70 mph after the road passes through the most densely populated area.
Illinois Speed Limit - Divided Roads
The maximum speed limit on divided roads in Illinois is 65 miles per hour. Divided roads must have a concrete median or buffer zone separating opposite lanes, and may have one or more lanes going in the same direction.
Because the median helps protect drivers from head-on collisions, Illinois has a higher maximum speed limit for divided roads than undivided roads.
Illinois Speed Limit - Undivided Roads
The maximum speed limit on rural undivided roads roads in Illinois is 55 miles per hour. This category includes most small backroads and local routes.
When these routes pass through a residential or heavily-trafficked area, the speed limit will usually drop to 30 mph or below.
Illinois Speed Limit - Residential Areas
The maximum speed limit on residential roads in Illinois is 30 miles per hour. Residential roads have the most potential for speed-based accidents and collisions, so residential districts tend to have the lowest speed limits with the most strict enforcement policies.
When driving in residential areas be on the lookout for school, hospital, and construction zones. These areas often have even lower speed limits, with strict enforcement and heavy fines for speeding.
Illinois Speeding Tickets and Citations
Driving over the posted speed limit, driving too fast for conditions, or failing to obey special speed limit zones can result in a Illinois speeding ticket, points on your license, and even a license suspension or revocation for repeat offenders.
Illinois highway patrol officers monitor traffic using radar, speed traps, and cameras. Radar technology is not exact, and as a general rule an officer will not pull you over for exceeding the speed limit by less than 5 mph (75 mph on a rural freeway, or 60 mph on an rural undivided road). However, any speeds in excess of the posted speed limits can be considered a ticketable offence.