Police Officers in Illinois Cannot Use Radar Guns Within 500 feet of Some Posted Speed Limit Signs (in the direction of travel)







POLICE OFFICERS IN ILLINOIS CANNOT USE RADAR GUNS WITHIN 500 FEET OF A POSTED SPEED LIMIT SIGN (IN THE DIRECTION OF TRAVEL)


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Sometimes police officers will conceal themselves well when looking to surprise potential speeders with tickets. They can hide around curves, on the other side of hills, or take cover behind objects. This is all of course, perfectly legal. But did you know that in Illinois if an officer attempts to use a radar device 500 feet after a posted speed limit sign your ticket can get tossed? The Illinois statute (625 ILCS 5/11-604(b)) states “Electronic speed detecting devices shall not be used within 500 feet beyond any such sign in the direction of travel; if so used in violation of this section evidence obtained thereby shall be inadmissible in any prosecution for speeding.”

Before running to the court with your evidence however you need to be aware of two issues:

1. Illinois officers are allowed to use radar guns within 500 feet of a speed limit sign if they are used in a school zone.

2. According to Illinois v. Johannsen (261 N.E.2d 551) the same speed limit sign must not have also been posted prior to the speed limit sign in question.

The first issue is self explanatory, the second is a little more complicated. Basically the Johannsen case indicated that if a speed limit sign was posted prior to the one in question, and both speed limit signs indicate the same speed limit, then the 500 ft rule does not apply. The Johannsen case however, is over 45 years old, and it is also an opinion issued by the 2nd district appellate court. So other appellate districts in Illinois could, perhaps, have a new or different interpretation of the statute.


So the next time you get busted for speeding, make a mental note of exactly where the officer was when he used his radar on your vehicle- it might just get the ticket thrown out.

Do you have a traffic ticket or DUI/DWI that you need handled? Get a lawyer that’s licensed in both Illinois and Missouri. Call: 314.499.4040 or visit http://www.trafficlawsolutions.net

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