ANSWERS: Questions about driving shirtless, shoeless and in school zones

The speed limit in a school zone is 20 mph from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Quincy. (H-W Photo)
Posted: Feb. 1, 2013 7:11 pm Updated: Nov. 28, 2014 2:34 pm


Is there a rule against driving without shoes? Is there a rule against driving without a shirt?

Remember the famous scene in the 1982 movie, "Fast Times in Ridgemont High," when Jeff Spicoli (played by Sean Penn) walks into All-American Burger and reads the sign in the window that says, "No shirt, no shoes, no dice"?

Well, that doesn't apply to drivers in Illinois. Rob Copley, the chief of police in Quincy, says no rules against driving without shoes or shirts exist in Illinois.

"I heard you couldn't drive without shoes when I was a teenager," Copley said. "My mom would tell me that, but it's one of those things that hasn't been true for 32 years."

Driving without a shirt actually would be a problem for a woman, but it wouldn't be a traffic violation.

"You'd probably get an indecent exposure or indecent conduct charge," Copley said.


Why do people in Quincy have to go slow all day long in the school zones when the schools are in session? There are no kids on the streets, and children are not crossing the roads. I have seen in other cities in Illinois and other states where the speed limits are strictly enforced only in the mornings, when students arrive, and in the afternoons, when students depart. Some cities have flashing lights at those times. It is foolish for people to go at a snail's pace during the entire day. Why can't we do what other cities do?

The speed limit in a school zone is 20 mph from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Quincy. Copley says the law indicates that children must be present, but the city has taken a stricter interpretation of the law.

"We had a choice of going three ways," Copley said. "First, it could be from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. ... period. Second, it could be when lights are flashing, but we don't have lights at all of our crossings. Third, it could be enforced when children are present, but that relies on the person actually seeing the child, and I prefer them not to wait to see a child (before slowing to 20 mph). If we see the child and (a driver doesn't), we could write a ticket. So if you have to drive at a snail's pace, so be it.

"There will be times where kids are out for other reasons -- kids are coming late, kids are leaving early, school gets out early. That's why I get concerned about the rule being just ‘when children are present.' There are times when a child is near the street during school hours, and I don't want you to think, ‘I'm only going to slow down if i see a child.' "


Is it legal to park construction trailers on the streets of Quincy? From time to time, a construction company will park a trailer on South 22nd near its intersection with Madison.

Copley says a construction trailer can only be parked at site longer than 24 hours if it is at a location where there is a legitimate job, "and you would typically need a permit for that," he said. Other than that, the trailer is subject to city ordinances that prevent it from being on the street for no more than 24 hours.


What is the speed limit on 54th Street from Columbus Road to Broadway? There is nothing posted.

Copley said any road or street that is not marked with a speed limit that is within the city's jurisdiction is always 30 mph. If it's not within the city's jurisdiction, it's 55 mph.

The road in question, Copley said, is split between the city and county jurisdiction, with the dividing line just north of Menard's.

Curious about anything going on in your community? Just ask. We'll quiz community leaders, business officials, historians, educators ... whoever can tell us what you want to know. Questions and responses are published Saturday.

Submit questions to or online at, or mail them to Answers, The Quincy Herald-Whig, P.O. Box 909, Quincy, IL 62301. Provide a name and phone number so we can respond or clarify information. Questions dealing with personal or legal disputes will not be accepted.


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