I am not a lawyer and don't want to be a lawyer, but I'd love to understand better whether or not you can be busted by a speed camera in Illinois. The short answer is yes. The long answer is...complicated.

I saw this interesting take on the legality of speed cameras by World Population Review, but it brings up more questions than it provides answers in some cases. It states that the legal status for speed cameras is "authorized by state law and city ordinance". Fine. But, it goes on to provide a large number of stipulations including the following:

  • Permitted in a construction or maintenance speed zone; in a safety zone (within 1/8th of a mile of a school or a park district used for recreational purposes) in municipalities with a population of 1,000,000 or more inhabitants
  • In construction zones, citations are issued only when workers are present; in safety zones, citations are issued only during certain hours

My brain hurts. So you're saying that it's up to cities in Illinois to determine if they will allow speed cameras, but there are a zillion rules after that?

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For clarification, I checked the Governors Highway Safety Administration and it's a bit more direct.

Inforgraphic, Governors Highway Safety Administration
Infographic, Governors Highway Safety Administration

Let's just go with "yes, speed cameras are permitted by Illinois state law, but up to the cities" and leave it at that.

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