I received the following information from my friend Justin Seyl at US Legal Services. If you run in Illinois, please be aware of this:

“Illinois will begin using photo radar in freeway work zones in July. One mile per hour over the speed limit and the machine will send you a nice $375 ticket in the mail. Beginning July 1st, the State of Illinois will begin using speed cameras in areas designated as “Work Zones” on major freeways. Anyone caught by these devices will be mailed a $375 ticket for the FIRST offense. The SECOND offense will cost $1,000 and comes with a 90-day suspension. Drivers will also receive demerit points against their license, which allows insurance companies to raise insurance rates.

“This is the harshest penalty structure ever set for a govermental unit involving PHOTO speed enforcement. The state already has two camera vans on line issuing tickets 24/7 in work zones with speed limits lowered to 45 MPH. Photos of both the Driver’s face and License plate are taken.”

This is serious stuff, folks. Don’t forget, if they photograph your Mercer Illinois baseplate and send it to us, we are legally obligated to identify the driver.  Justin doesn’t seem to think there is much chance of beating these things in court even though his firm is generally pretty good at doing that. When I drove across Illinois last week,  I set it 5MPH under the posted, turned up the XM, and enjoyed the boring scenery. I strongly suggest that everyone do the same.