Yesterday I did a trial in Joliet on a Lockport speeding case. My client, a CDL truck driver was driving his commercial vehicle (a Vovlo truck with 53 foot trailer) on Route 7 into Lockport. He was coming down from the bridge into Lockport when a Lockport police officer used radar and clocked him going 60mph in a 30mph zone. This was a serious ticket not only because it was a Class B Misdemeanor but because it was in Will County and my client was going to lose his job as he was a CDL driver.
Before trial, I met my client at the location to better understand the area and the case. My client stated that the speed limit was 55mph just before the sign that reduced it to 30mph and he did not have a chance to slow down before being tagged by the officer.
At trial, I used a map of the area and first asked the officer if the map accurately represented the area and distances between the respective streets, he said it did.
I then asked him to put the letter “P” where he was located when he used his radar gun. I then asked him to put an “X” where my client was located when the speed reading was obtained. Finally, I asked the officer to put an “O” on the map where the speed limit sign that read “30 mph” was located. After the officer entered the marks, I asked him the distance between the “P” and the “X”. He stated, 200-300 feet. I than asked him the distance between the “X” and the “O” and he stated 100 -200 feet. I had no further questions.
The Will County State’s Attorney had no other witnesses. Then, before my client testified, I asked the Judge to throw the case out based upon Illinois Law, specifically: 625 ILCS 5/11-602. This law deals with changes in speed zones. It says, (in a nut shell) that “Electronic speed-detecting devices shall not be used within 500 feet beyond any such sign in the direction of travel: if so used in violation hereof, evidence obtained thereby shall be inadmissible in any prosecution for speeding.”
Because the police officer already testified that my client was only 100-200 feet from the 30 mph sign, the Judge granted my Motion for a Directed Verdict (found my client “Not Guilty”) and dismissed the case.