What is the deal with the new Illinois Tollway speed 'cameras'?
July 10, 2009 9:28 AM   Subscribe

What is the deal with the new Illinois Tollway speed 'cameras'?

I read that the state of Illinois was going to be installing speed cameras in work zones. These cameras will automatically mail you a $375 ticket if you are caught speeding. As a Chicago-area commuter, I have seen tons of these 'cameras' on 88 and 355. However, they only look like velocity sensors. There does not appear to be any camera component (no flash, no visible lens).

What is going on with these things? I have seen them outside of work zones and am wondering if they are ticketing speeders in those areas as well.

posted by jdlugo to Travel & Transportation around Illinois (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This thread says that the cameras are located in cargo vans on the side of the road.
posted by wfrgms at 9:33 AM on July 10, 2009

As far as I know, there are two speed-monitoring systems on the tollway:

1. Speed trailers. These show your speed and the current speed limit. They (to the best of my knowledge) don't record or photograph anything, they are just a deterrent.

2. Photo enforcement vans. These are what you get tickets from.
posted by indyz at 9:35 AM on July 10, 2009

They're not new.
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:38 AM on July 10, 2009

Has anyone seen these vans on 355 or 88?

It seems from all the linked information they are mostly on 90/94. Thanks!
posted by jdlugo at 9:49 AM on July 10, 2009

I am not a heavy tollway user (1-4 times a month I end up on a tollway), but I have NEVER seen a speed van -- though the "photo enforcement" signs are up all over the place nowadays.

Just was on 88 this past weekend, so hopefully my ticket isn't in the mail!
posted by Ultra Laser at 11:18 AM on July 10, 2009

Have not seen one on 355 south of 55, but I did see one up around Ogden once (northbound side). Luckily for me there was too much traffic at the time to speed, or I probably would have a ticket now.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 1:27 PM on July 10, 2009

I take I-94 from Gurnee to Deerfield and back every day for work and I have never seen one, even though most of that is under construction. From what I've heard (so take it with a huge grain of salt), the photo vans are mostly close to the city.
posted by indyz at 2:46 PM on July 10, 2009

From my experience driving on the toll roads around Chicago for the past few years, there are more decoy photo vans than active ones. I have a radar detector, and I always keep a sharp eye out for those telltale white vans on the side of the road. It's rare enough that I even *see* them in the work zones around Chicago, but the few times I have, they've never been actively running radar.

The only time I've been ticketed on Illinois highways in the past three and a half years I was actually paced from behind after a highway merge. (I've had two radar tickets in the same time period, but they've both been instant-on on surface streets in the suburbs. I doubtless would have had more if it weren't for my faithful Escort.).

That said... they photo vans are not new, they've been around for several years, and they're easy to detect if you're even moderately alert, which you should be if you're driving at super-legal speeds, anyway. If you're worried, your best defense is to remain alert but back up your own senses with a good radar detector.
posted by jammer at 4:21 PM on July 10, 2009

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