Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fast response by IDOT on new sign

A few months ago the 35MPH sign on Route 120 near Marian Central disappeared. The sign was for westbound traffic at Broadway, just west of Marian Central Catholic High School, where the speed limit dropped from 45MPH to 35MPH. When the sign disappeared (wind? theft?), a driver could try to claim that he was still in the 45MPH zone and possibly escape a speeding ticket, either during a traffic stop or in court.

Often, it works to report missing signs to your local police department or the Streets Department of the town in which you live. In this case, I reported it to Woodstock Public Works twice, and no new sign was erected. So I called the IDOT Sign Shop myself. Within 10 days a new sign was up.

Signs on State highways (such as Route 120) are replaced by the State Highway Department (IDOT), so the local office must relay the request. Perhaps it was just a coincidence. Or perhaps the method of reporting by a municipality results in a request ending up at the bottom of a very long list of signs to be replaced.

Be alert for missing signs (intersection signs, stop signs, speed limit signs) and report them promptly. The signs are important to your safety (in your car and to your bank account).

Thanks to IDOT for the speedy replacement of the missing sign. And thanks, too, to Woodstock Public Works for trying to get the sign replaced. I'm sure you forwarded the requests promptly.

9 comments:

Steve said...

"roadway, just west of Marian Central Catholic High School, where the speed limit dropped from 45MPH to 35MPH. When the sign disappeared (wind? theft?), a driver could try to claim that he was still in the 45MPH zone and possibly escape a speeding ticket, either during a traffic stop or in court..."

Could CLAIM? to be in the 45? Gus, he IS in the 45 m/h zone if there is no signage posted. I know you have a thing, as do I, for Handicapped Parking violators. The law is clear. Not only must the parking space be marked on the pavement, but a sign must be in place. Are you saying that somebody who comes to town and finds themselves a space where the city has done it's typically crap job of snow removal and the signage also happens to be missing should take a $250 hit for parking there? You gotta be kidding. If the city, or whomever, wants to enforce a 35 m/h zone, they can damn well keep the signs in place. The "Speed Zone ahead", etc. signs are NOT regulatory but informational. "Stop Ahead" means nothing with regard to a traffic violation if the subject stop sign is missing. In a civil case, that's a whole 'nother story.

Frank said...

I hate to say it but Steve is wrong about both the speed limit and the handicap markings.

625ILCS5/11-601...
"(c) Unless some other speed restriction is established under this Chapter, the maximum speed limit in an urban district for all vehicles is:
1. 30 miles per hour; and
2. 15 miles per hour in an alley." The speed limit without the sign would be 30 mph.

Also, handicap parking spaces do NOT need to be marked on the pavement so the snow removal is a moot point. All that needs to be in place is a universal handicap sign and the fine amount has to be posted.

Steve said...

Frank, not to quibble but my post was correct. Go back and read it again. Folks on McHenry Av are in a 45 which changes down to a 35 but the sign was missing. Ergo, the speed limit, as posted, remains 45. There are plenty of places in the cities and villages that have 45 zones. As for the handicapped parking areas, you don't cite the statute and I don't have it handy so I'll have check, BUT, again, please read what I wrote, "and finds themselves a space where the city has done it's typically crap job of snow removal and the signage also happens to be missing should take a $250 hit for parking there? " Still think you can get a ticket if you can't see the log on the snow covered pavement AND there is no sign present?

Justin said...

Steve& Frank. You two guys get to split the baby.

On the speed issue, Steve is correct. Since a local government may regulate speed of vehicles, if the 45MPH sign is the only signage the driver could see, the lack of signage announcing a lower speed is an affirmative defense. The speed MUST BE PROPERLY POSTED.

Speed enforcement 101 teaches that a speed sign MUST BE PROPERLY POSTED if enforcement is taken. For instance on Rte 14 East of 47 there was no speed limit posted indicating the lower speed. The sign was WEST of 47 announcing the lower speed. If someone came off Rte 47 they may assume it was 55 MPH statutorily un-posted rather than the lower limit. Once that was communicated to IDOT finally erected the signs.

On the Disabled parking the sign and FINE is the only required notice as defined under 11-310 of the ILCS. The markings on the pavement are just icing on the cake. Frank wins this one.

Let’s go further in our lesson.
Citing an URBAN district is an esoteric and vague issue which does have shades of gray. 625 ILCS 5/11 Sec. 1 214. Urban district.
The territory contiguous to and including any street which is built up with structures devoted to business, industry or dwelling houses situated at intervals of less than 100 feet for a distance of a quarter of a mile or more.

Unless the PO can testify as to the density of the houses it becomes hard to enforce absent speed signs.

Gus said...

Thanks, Justin!

Gus said...

In 1996 I began using the Tollway eastbound from Route 47. At the end of the entrance ramp was a 55MPH speed limit sign. So you can guess who almost got run over daily, trying to survive dodge-'em cars in the right traffic lane.

One day an Illinois State Police car blew by me at 65-70MPH, just keeping up with traffic. I called the Pecatonica District (for that unit), where a trooper told me the speed limit was 65MPH. I asked him what he supposed the 55MPH speed limit meant.

It turned out that the Tollway Highway Dept. had neglected to remove the 55MPH sign, after roadway construction was completed, and restore the speed limit to 65MPH. It wasn't Construction Zone signing; the sign was a regulation 55MPH speed limit sign. The next day a 65MPH sign was there.

I maintained that the speed limit was 55, as posted (even if incorrectly posted).

Steve said...

Justin, apparently your reading comprehension is lacking. PLEASE go back and read what I posted again. I clearly stated that both the pavement marking was obliterated AND the signage MISSING due to the snow job. So the situation is the pavement is marked, but snow and ice covered, and the sign is NOT present. Are you going to write them a ticket when they cannot even see the pavement?

Justin said...

Well Steve if you desire to nitpick you earlier wrote:

“The law is clear. Not only must the parking space be marked on the pavement, but a sign must be in place.” You're WRONG but let me include the rest of you post.

“Are you saying that somebody who comes to town and finds themselves a space where the city has done it's typically crap job of snow removal and the signage also happens to be missing should take a $250 hit for parking there?”

Clearly NO because if there is no sign there is no violation. Simple as that.

You are wrong by asserting that there must be marked pavement. Please cite to me the appropriate ILCS section so I can educate myself. I'm sure it will be as elusive as the supposed arrest bounty Gus spoke of. The only requirement is the sign. The only correct part of your statement is that should the sign be missing, then no enforcement could occur.

Sec. 11‑1301.3. Unauthorized use of parking places reserved for persons with disabilities the pertinent section states it shall be prohibited to park any motor vehicle in a designated access aisle adjacent to any parking place specifically reserved for persons with disabilities, by the posting of an official sign as designated under Section 11‑301, for motor vehicles displaying such registration plates.

Nowhere do I read anything about painting the pavement. To address your other question, my reading comprehension skills seem to be on par with your knowledge of the traffic laws.

Steve said...

Well, I'll give you that the handicapped logo doesn't need to be painted on the pavement. I saw your post of the applicable statute and I can read and comprehend. You still can't as it's been made abundantly clear both in the initial post and subsequent ones that there was a sign that went missing and the pavement WAS marked (your frosting on the cake) but not visible due to snow cover. If you haven't caught on yet, try it one more time and feel free to move your lips as you read it. It just might help you out!