We got caught in an insane speed trap in a small Illinois town with a seemingly inactive construction zone. We had to post bond from the car, got a mandatory court date (400 miles away from our home of Chicago), looking at $1100+ in fees. Any ideas?
Anon as this is a potential legal situation and we are trying to figure out if there are any solutions beyond eating all the costs. I read a couple of the posts on speed traps, but this one has a few different factors at play.
The details: Husband, kids, and I were on the home stretch of a 2000-mile roadtrip, having just entered into our home state of Illinois via I-57. At the Missouri/Illinois state line, the speed limit dropped from 70 to 65. Husband was traveling around 70, so yes, speeding by 5-6 mp/h over at this point.
A construction zone sign quickly appeared, along with a series of orange road cones in the right lane. No apparent work was being done – it was a Sunday for one, but no bulldozers or workers were to be seen, and the road was perfectly intact. A county sheriff was stationed behind the sign and, of course, pulled us over. He cited 71 in a 55 construction zone, and my husband, acknowledging guilt of speeding (to me, not the sheriff), was prepared to pay the ticket and move on. This is where, IMO, it gets goofy.
The sheriff required a $120 cash bond to be posted then and there, or he would confiscate husband's license. I argued how we were supposed to get our family back home to Chicago, 400 miles away, without a license, but luckily husband had enough cash and paid up. He was handed the ticket and told he had a mandatory court date (again 400 miles away), or else he would face license suspension. Husband just wanted to pay the ticket, acknowledge guilt, and be done with it, but apparently this is not possible.
After calculating the court fees ($500), the ticket ($375+) and having to hire an attorney to appear in Mound City for him ($250+ or else, in theory, taking 1-2 days off work to drive 800 miles round trip), we are looking at over $1100 to get this resolved.
In looking online, I have found a number of mentions
of this spot (not just Mound City but the entire county of Pulaski) as a speed trap, along with similar ticket situations, and questions as to whether this is not simply a semi-permanent "construction" zone speed trap erected to bring more money into the county.
So here's the question: is there a way of finding out if this is a legitimate construction zone, or any other routes to consider pursuing? He is prepared to pay up (and certainly can't risk having a license suspension), and knows he is guilty of speeding, but can't stand the feeling of this being a major shakedown and a rigged game. Thanks all!