Downs: Writing ordinance violations for traffic isn’t legal!

By:  Diane Benjamin

The Village of Downs has this paragraph in their City Code:   PDF page 10:

What a great racket!

I wonder why Bloomington and Normal don’t write ordinance violations instead of speeding tickets.  They could make a fortune keeping all the money for themselves!

They don’t do it because it isn’t legal.

Downs police issue a lot of tickets for speeding on Route 150 – a STATE road.  Think the STATE might want a cut since it’s their road?

What about insurance companies?  They base rates on driving records, none of the ordinance violations ever get reported to the State and therefore the insurance companies never know they are insuring somebody with possibly many speeding tickets!

Of course the State can’t yank the driver’s license of chronic speeders because they never found out about their speeding.

Sweet deal, except that Downs picked on the wrong person.

A lady was recently stopped for speeding when she really wasn’t.  The officer claimed she was in a school zone, funny since it was before school had started for the year.  School zones apply when school is in session – if I remember right from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The officer told her if she didn’t pay the $120 fine she would be turned over to the State’s Attorney for prosecution.  I wish that had happened because the SA would have told Downs to knock it off.  Since Downs doesn’t have a court, where do drivers go to protest a ticket?  Real speeding tickets can be appealed to traffic court (DUE PROCESS), does the Downs mayor have the authority to cancel ordinance violations?  No, but I hear he has!

Mayor James:  Downs isn’t allowed to rewrite the law so you get all the money!

By FOIA, I received over 120 “ordinance” violations written by Downs police in the past year.   The receipts for payment I received totaled $10,586.  Some violations written were for either $50 or $65.  Those are labeled Stop Sign.  Speeding in a school zone is $200.   Some people are making payments on their tickets, those receipts are clearly marked.

I’m pretty sure Stop Signs are covered by State Law too, therefore those ordinance tickets are also invalid.

People who have been issued ordinance violation do not need to pay them.  The new McLean County State’s Attorney might be interested in the Downs antics:

If you paid one of these tickets, I’d go to the next Village Board meeting and demand a refund.

Any other small towns doing the same thing?





10 thoughts on “Downs: Writing ordinance violations for traffic isn’t legal!

  1. As for a SCHOOL ZONE. A STATE POLICE officer who once was teaching a class on “rules of the road” was asked this SAME question. His reply was that the signs CLEARLY READ “When children are present” which means that IF there are NO CHILDREN on the curb, sidewalk, grounds, etc, then the limit is mute..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tony – Even if you’re right, that doesn’t change the facts of the matter. Not unlike calling somebody who says the government is overspending a racist – the personal accusation may or may not be true, but the underlying facts of the situation remain the same and still warrant addressing.


  2. Diane, you should probably fact check yourself using Illinois law, which the state makes available for free at, instead of making assumptions. If you would read 625 ILCS 5/11-604, you would see that you are completely incorrect and municipalities are actually authorized under Illinois law to set lower speed limits within their jurisdiction so long as it is no lower than 20 miles per hour.


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