Local News

General Assembly passes Will County legislators’ bill to expand school speed zone hours

Democratic Sen. Meg Loughran Cappel and GOP Rep. Mark Batinick sponsored the bill in their respective chambers

The Illinois General Assembly passed legislation sponsored by two Will County area legislators, one Republican and one Democrat, which would expand the period of time in which school zone speed limits are active.

State Sen. Meg Loughran Cappel, D-Shorewood, sponsored the bill, H.B. 343, in the Senate, which passed the measure on Wednesday, and Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, backed it in the House, according to a news release.

“Prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of our students is a choice,” Loughran Cappel said in a statement. “I am proud my colleagues in the General Assembly took it upon themselves to give our kids the additional protections they deserve.”

Under the state’s existing school speed zone rules, children are to be assumed present between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. But students in Plainfield-area high school begin to arrive earlier since classes start at 7:05 a.m.

Many students begin even earlier than 7:05 a.m. to attend school programs, tutoring or other extracurricular activities, the legislators said.

Under the legislation, the speed zone limits on school days would begin at 6:30 a.m. Violation of the speed zone limits would still result in a subsequent fine or possible incarceration, depending on the speed violation.

The bill awaits Gov. JB Pritzker’s signature.