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Evanston City Council passed an ordinance on Jan. 25 that will increase the fine for speeding in a school speed zone from $150 to $500. The ordinance was proposed by Alderman Donald Wilson (4th Ward) and will take effect Feb. 26. 

 “My hope is that we will be able to reduce the number of violations in our school zones,” said Alderman Wilson. “The goal is not to collect more money, but rather to raise awareness and get drivers to slow down and improve their attention when driving in Evanston.”   

The new ordinance sets the minimum fine at $500, plus a $50 penalty paid to the school district.  Prior to this ordinance, such violations had been handled under state law (625 ILCS 5/11-605), which provides for a minimum fine of $150 with an additional $50 penalty paid to the school district and court costs.
 
The new ordinance, like the state statute, requires drivers to slow to 20 mph between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. in posted school zones on school days when children are present outside the school building.
 
Under the new ordinance, Evanston police may issue tickets under the new ordinance rather than state law. The cases would then initially be heard in the City’s Administrative Hearings Division rather than in the Skokie Municipal District 2 courthouse.