Establishing speed limits can be an arduous task. Although the maximum speed limit on local highways is 55 mph, or lower in altered speed zones, some individuals believe that most speed limits are too low, while others think traffic is moving too fast, especially on the roads in front of their homes. Some believe that speed limits can be modified by putting pressure on elected officials or those with political influence.
Kendall County has adopted ordinances that seek to take the emotion out of the decision to establish an altered speed limit on County and Township Highways. A Policy For The Establishment And Posting Of Speed Limits On County And Township Highways In Kendall County, Illinois was approved by the Kendall County Board on April 16, 2002 . The ordinance is based on standards recognized by the Federal Highway Administration and Illinois Department of Transportation, as detailed in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. It essentially requires that speed studies must be the basis for establishing altered speed zones.
A speed study generally includes documentation of the actual speeds of vehicles in the studied zone. The assumption is that 85% of drivers will drive a reasonable and safe speed, regardless of the posted speed limit. The study may also include other factors such as parking, pedestrian activity or accident history. If the speed study reveals that an altered speed limit is warranted, the recommendation for altering the speed limit will be presented to the County Board for action.
If approved, the altered speed limit becomes enforceable upon erection of speed limit signs.
Speed limits, both statutory and altered, are absolute in character, and no motorist may legally exceed such limits at any time, regardless of conditions. Therefore, an altered speed limit shall reflect the optimum, rather than the adverse, driving condition, as drivers are subject to citation even though traveling at a speed lower than the posted limit if they are driving at a speed that is greater than is reasonable and proper with regard to traffic conditions and the use of the highway, or endangers the safety of any person or property.
During the years 2002 and 2003, Kendall County Highway Department performed a comprehensive evaluation of all altered speed limit zones on County Highways in Kendall County . These zones were codified by the Kendall County Board on January 20, 2004 , and are legally enforceable. Please drive responsibly.