School zones may be put into effect more often

Apr 22, 2013

Drivers in Illinois would have to slow down near schools a lot more frequently under legislation making its way through the General Assembly. 

The 20-mile-per-hour speed limit around schools is currently only in effect "on schools days when children are present." The legislation would expand that requirement to anytime children are near a school. Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a Democrat from Northbrook, says her proposal isn't just based on a hunch.

"We actually have data to show that the most number of accidents occur outside of school hours, and outside of the hours by which current state law requires drivers to slow down."

School zone violations cost drivers $200 for the first offense, and $350 after that. Rep. Monique Davis, a Democrat from Chicago, says it sounds like the government is just trying to make more money through tickets. She says the legislation disproportionately affects Chicago, where it can seem as though there's a school zone on every other block.

"So if you want us all to drive 20 miles per hour, let's just say that. Let's just say: 'This city, you drive 20 miles per hour.'"

The measure passed the House on a vote of 90-11 and now goes to the Senate.