Why speeding penalties are significantly lower in Wisconsin than neighboring states

By Christina Lorey

November 14, 2023

Not only are Thanksgiving and the Wednesday before two of the busiest days on Wisconsin roads, this time of year is the busiest driving season! Between turkey day and New Year’s Day, the average person travels 600 miles.

However, drivers who are visiting family out-of-state, especially in Illinois, will want to keep an eye on their speedometers. Speeding tickets there are significantly higher than here in Wisconsin. If a Wisconsin State Patrol officer catches a driver going 25+ mph over the speed limit, that person is hit with a citation. In Illinois, that’s a crime.

Here’s an example: Earlier this year, WTMJ showed viewers exclusive dash cam video of an Illinois driver getting busted by Wisconsin State Patrol for going 102 mph (32 over the speed limit) through Kenosha County in the rain. The driver was sent on his way with a handful of tickets and a $326 fine. If he had done that in his home state, the driver could have been arrested.

Going 26 to 34 mph over the speed limit in Illinois is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,500. Going 35+ over the limit can land a driver in jail for a year.

Illinois’ harsher speeding repercussions seem to be working: roughly 2,000 fewer drivers were charged with “aggravated speeding” in 2022 compared to 2019. During that same time frame, Wisconsin State Patrol data shows the number of drivers caught going 100+ mph doubled.

The Bottom Line: Watch your speed to protect yourself, other drivers, and your wallet this holiday season.

Why speeding penalties are significantly lower in Wisconsin than neighboring states


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.


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