Speed Limits

Illinois Speed Limit Laws

Speed limits in Illinois are governed by the Illinois Vehicle Code, Chapter 11: Rules of the Road, Article VI: Speed Restrictions. All pertinent laws and regulations regarding speeding and speed limits are found in this part of Illinois laws.

How fast can you drive in Illinois, and what are legal speed limits in this state? Below we’re providing a quick overview of Illinois speed limit laws.

Illinois speed limit laws summary:

  • Interstates and tollways — 70 mph.
  • Highways with four lanes — 65 mph.
  • Other highways and rural areas — 55 mph.
  • City/Town Areas — 30 mph.
  • Alleys — 15 mph.
  • School Zones — 20 mph (on school days between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. when children are present and signs are posted).

Always watch out for local speed limit traffic signs! Our overview of Illinois speed limits above is based on general state laws. Every municipality, county, town or road can have specific regulations and restrictions, so always keep an eye on traffic signs with posted speed limits which supersede these general rules.

Speeding Penalties

Driving over speed limit in Illinois has different penalties and fines. First time violators can face up to $1,000 in fines and have their driver license suspended for up to one year. Penalties depend on severity of your violation.

Illinois has absolute speed limit laws, so even going 1 mph over the speed limit is technically speeding.

  • Speeding 1 to 20 mph over the speed limit: $120 fine
  • Speeding 21 to 25 mph over the speed limit: $140 fine
  • Speeding 26 mph over the speed limit: Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 moths in jail and $1,500 fine
  • Speeding 35 mph over the speed limit: Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a year in jail and up to $2,500 fine

In case you are facing charges for driving over 26 miles per hour over the Illinois speed limits, it is strongly recommended to hire a competent attorney. These charges have serious consequences and potential jail time, and an experienced traffic lawyer can find ways to reduce your penalties.

Additional surcharges or costs and driver license penalty points may also be issued.

All fines and penalties may increase in case you have been convicted with another speeding violation in the past. Additional traffic violations may also increase penalties.

Excessive speeds may get you in other legal trouble based on Street Racing Laws or Reckless Driving Laws. Driving way over legal or posted speed limits is often considered reckless driving, which can carry harsh fines and even jail sentences.

Note that driving less than 5 mph over legal speed limit in Illinois state is typically considered acceptable and you should not get a traffic ticket for it. This is a reasonable margin of error and most law enforcement officers will not pull you over for exceeding speed limits by less than 5 miles per hour, unless you’re in a school zone or other area where speeding is more inappropriate.


Sources and references:

  1. Illinois Vehicle Code, Chapter 11: Rules of the Road, Article VI: Speed Restrictions
This article about Illinois Speed Limit Laws was last updated in 2018. If any of our information is incomplete or outdated please let us know. Thank you!