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Safety Tips for Driving in Work Zones

Keep an eye out for the safety colors of neon orange and yellow that all workers wear when on the roads.


  • Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you and follow the posted speed limit
  • Work zone traffic lanes are narrower than other lanes
  • Traffic patterns shift often
  • Pavement may be uneven in sections

The minimum penalty for speeding in a work zone:

  • $250 for the first offense
  • $750 minimum for second offense
  • Hitting a worker in a work zone could result in a fine of up to $25,000 and up to 14 years in jail

Illinois law requires drivers to slow down and change lanes safely when approaching ANY vehicle with its hazard lights on, not just emergency and maintenance vehicles.

  • Reduce speed
  • Change lanes if possible
  • Proceed with caution

Using a hand-held phone while driving is illegal in Illinois. Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone.

Watch for signs advising of traffic shifts, roadway incidents and other warnings.

One of the most common crashes in a work zone is a rear-end collision. In addition, traffic in work zones makes sudden stops.

Call *999 for non-emergency roadway assistance.

Insurance Claims

Customer Vehicle Damage

The Illinois Tollway has established a process for claims of property damage to a vehicle when an incident is directly related to system operations.

  • Weather-related events and conditions
  • Damage caused by other motorists
  • Unreported road conditions or debris

Customer Vehicle Damage Form


Emergency Medical Services

If fire protection or ambulance services are required at an incident, the party benefiting from these services is responsible for reimbursement to the Tollway. The Tollway is a user-fee system and receives no tax dollars for maintenance or operations. Payment can be made in the form of a personal check or money order mailed to the Tollway using the address above. Credit card payments can be made by calling 630-241-6800 ext 4290.


Insurance Claims Frequently Asked Questions

Tollway Property Damage

If you have damaged Tollway property or have been involved in an accident which resulted in damages to Tollway property or costs were incurred by the Tollway to either clean up the accident or provide traffic control, the following is required:

  1. Report the incident to your insurance company immediately
  2. Complete the linked form and send it by mail (2700 Ogden Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60515), fax (630-241-6103) or scanned into an email within seven days of the incident occurrence

Tollway Property Damage Form

Payment for service rendered:
If you are liable for the damages to the Tollway, you are obligated to pay for fees incurred. If no arrangements are made to satisfy this obligation, then your name will be sent to the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State.
If you wish to pay directly, you can do so in the following ways:

  • Mail a check or money order referencing the claim number (if available) to:

Illinois State Toll Highway
Risk Management Division
2700 Ogden Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515

  • If paying by credit card, please call 630-241-6800 ext 4290.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Tollway's Risk Management team via email or call 630-241-6800 ext 4263

If you are uninsured it is very important that you contact the Tollway at 630-241-6800 ext 4263 to discuss payment options to avoid license/registration suspension.

H.E.L.P. on the Illinois Tollway

Need assistance on the Tollway? Dial *999. To improve service to our customers, the Tollway offers the H.E.L.P. Truck Tracker to help drivers who have requested roadside assistance to identify where trucks are along the road and when they are headed in their direction.The Tracker is active during hours of H.E.L.P. Truck operations.

The Highway Emergency Lane Patrol (H.E.L.P.) program is supported by GEICO. The innovative sponsorship provides support for the successful H.E.L.P. program, furthering the Tollway's efforts to reduce delay and improve safety for the motoring public.

Remember: If you see ANY vehicle stopped on the side of the road with flashing lights #GiveThemDistance. Slow down. Change Lanes Safely. #Move Over. It's the law in Illinois.

Call for H.E.L.P. Dial *999

Dial *999 on your cellphone to report incidents on the Illinois Tollway. If you are experiencing an emergency, you should call 911 from your cellphone. You can also call Illinois State Police Troop15 directly at 630-241-6800 extension 5028.

Know Where You Are

A dispatcher will receive your call and send the appropriate responders to the scene.  When calling, have the following information available:

  • Location: name of roadway and direction of travel
  • Closest milepost
  • If reporting a crash, number of vehicles involved
  • Description of vehicles involved (type and color)

If you are involved in a roadway incident, please try to pull your car to safety on the shoulder of the road and turn on your emergency flashers. If it is safe, you should remain in your vehicle until assistance arrives.

Customers who receive roadway assistance from H.E.L.P. trucks are encouraged to share information about the assistance they received by posting to social media using the hashtags #HELPtruck and #GEICOSafetyPatrol.

The H.E.L.P. program is operated by Illinois Tollway personnel who are not authorized to contact GEICO on behalf of the motorists or assist in insurance claims.



H.E.L.P. Operations

Twelve H.E.L.P. trucks patrol the Tollway system and provide roadway assistance to stranded Tollway customers and traffic control at accident scenes.   

  • H.E.L.P. hours of operation: Monday-Friday 4 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • The Tollway is patrolled 24 hours a day by Illinois State Police Troop 15

HELP Services

  • Changing tires
  • Battery boosts
  • Adding coolant*
  • Dispensing fuel*
  • Transporting customers
  • Moving vehicles away from traffic
  • Calling for a tow

Gratuities are strictly prohibited.

*Small fees may be charged for this service and must be mailed to the Tollway. H.E.L.P. truck drivers cannot accept payment.


*999 is funded by the Illinois Tollway and Illinois Department of Transportation.

Get Real Time Roadway Condition and Incident Alerts

Tollway customers can "follow" each of the five tollways – the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80), Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), and the Illinois Route 390 Tollway – to receive real-time roadway incident and pavement condition information to help plan their trips.

Tollway Trip Tweets include information about the type of incident, the location by nearest crossroad and milepost, and the subsequent impact on traffic, such as lane closures. They also include information regarding pavement conditions during inclement weather.

Tollway Trip Tweets are an informational service to be used by customers only when they are not operating a vehicle. It is against the law to email, text or tweet while driving in Illinois. 

Remember: If you see ANY vehicle stopped on the side of the road with flashing lights #GiveThemDistance. Slow down. Change Lanes Safely. #Move Over. It's the law in Illinois.

Looking for official updates on more than roadway conditions and incident alerts. Check us out here @ILTollway.

Traffic and Roadway Operations Information

Many operations and maintenance units work together to reinforce the Tollway's commitment to providing congestion relief and superior customer service. These units include:


Fleet Maintenance provides for the upkeep and maintenance for approximately 867 licensed cars and trucks and 1,554 unlicensed roadway-related equipment such as end loaders, sweepers, snow plows and hopper bodies.

In order to use clean-burning alternative fuels, the Tollway has:

  • 324 biodiesel fueled trucks
  • 418 E-85 capable vehicles
  • 20 hybrid vehicles
  • 1 all electric vehicle
  • 753 vehicles, or approximately 87 percent, use alternative fuel or are hybrids


Central Dispatch

Central Dispatch is a 24/7/365 unit that is responsible for all radio communication with the Illinois State Police Troop 15 and Tollway maintenance and traffic operations.

Central Dispatch handles more than 215,000 incidents annually, monitoring an extensive network of alarms, answering motorist calls (including those from *999 motorist assistance service) and operating an integrated notification system that keeps Tollway employees up-to-date on system performance.

Building Maintenance

Building Maintenance is responsible for the daily maintenance of 110 Tollway buildings (plaza buildings, maintenance buildings, Central Administration Building, central warehouse, sign shop), which includes lighting, heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems, electrical, plumbing and sewer maintenance.




Roadway Maintenance

The mission of the Roadway Maintenance unit is to plan and provide scheduled and routine preventive maintenance activities on the Tollway's pavement and right-of-way, as well as respond to emergency situations whenever they arise.

The Roadway Maintenance unit performs diverse activities on a daily basis, including crack sealing, pavement patching and repair, snow and ice control, motorist assistance, H.E.L.P. patrols, bridge maintenance, incident management and accident response, right-of-way lawn mowing, trash removal and routine landscaping.

Traffic Operations

The Traffic Operations unit plays a key role in incident management. In addition, to detect and confirm incidents, the Traffic Operations team communicates critical information to incident responders, customers, media and Tollway staff.

They also facilitate quick response and the clearance of incidents from live lanes. The Traffic Operations unit has grown to meet increasing demand for improved traffic and incident management and, in particular, the demand for increased work zone monitoring and management in support of roadway improvement programs.


Traffic and Incident Management System (TIMS)

The Traffic and Incident Management System was developed as an ITS initiative to enhance and expand upon industry best practices in traffic and incident management.

Using 970 closed-circuit television cameras and 385 remote traffic monitoring sensors, the Traffic Operations Center operates as a clearinghouse for roadway information, including gathering details about:

  • Congestion
  • Incidents
  • Road work
  • Lane closures

Once information is gathered, TIMS operators use a variety of communications channels, including:

  • Computer-aided dispatch
  • Internet-based services
  • portable changeable message signs
  • 48 over-the-road dynamic message signs

These channels are used to reach Tollway employees, traffic operations and maintenance personnel, emergency and enforcement agencies, the media and motorists.

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)

The Illinois Tollway takes an integrated approach to maintaining safe and efficient travel on its system by merging the deployment of traditional roadway services with the implementation of advanced transportation technologies.

We use a variety of intelligent transportation system (ITS) resources to:

  • Detect possible incidents
  • Confirm details and location
  • Communicate with necessary personnel
  • Respond with the appropriate resources
  • Resolve all events as safely and quickly as possible

ITS enables information about developing situations to be gathered more quickly and accurately, allowing the Tollway to respond faster and allocate the appropriate resources.

The Tollway also uses ITS resources on a routine basis to monitor and provide information about construction, weather-related activities and major events.

*Learn more about the Illinois Tollway's Incident Management Operating Information and Procedures Guide. 

Towing and Road Service on the Tollway

If requested, the Tollway can dispatch an authorized company to provide road service. Motorists have the option to call any tow company and are not required to use Tollway-authorized companies unless their vehicle is blocking a live traffic lane or is in an unsafe location. Illinois State Police District 15 can order these vehicles to be immediately towed. Motorists are responsible for paying charges for services.

  • Maximum permissible rates have been established with Tollway-authorized companies.
  • All authorized tow vehicles display the Tollway seal on the side of the truck and will issue invoices for services on a Tollway-provided invoice. The maximum rates are published on the back of the invoice.
  • The Illinois Tollway does not profit from the use of Tollway-authorized companies. The Tollway monitors authorized companies to ensure rates are appropriate.

Convoy Information

Military Convoys

The Illinois Tollway offers tolling accommodations for military vehicle convoys consisting of 10 or more separate vehicles – trucks, cars, tanks or other military style vehicles – traveling together as a group with the same travel itinerary. 

A military convoy application for tolling accommodations is required to be submitted and approved by the Tollway prior to travel. If a vehicle in the convoy has an IPASS transponder, the motorist must remove it or properly store it in foil wrap so that the vehicle is not charged twice at the same toll plaza(s).

Tolls are charged to a single account and billed directly to the military convoy. All vehicles participating must be pre-registered to a convoy account at least seven days prior to travel, including license plate state, number and type.

Request for a police escort will be forwarded to Illinois State Police District 15 for approval.

Civilian Convoys

No convoy applications are required for civilian convoys, including funeral processions and charity motorcycle rides. Groups and participants traveling together can use I-PASS or the Tollway’s Pay By Plate service to safely and securely pay tolls without additional fees.

Need more information about convoys?

Send us an email here or call 630-241-6800 ext: 4323


Pothole Repair

Potholes typically occur on older pavement and can pop up overnight. The Illinois Tollway mobilizes maintenance teams systemwide to address these problems as quickly as possible. If you see a pothole during your ride on the Tollway, please call *999 to report it. Learn more about the Anatomy of a Pothole.

Pothole Repair Questions

Potholes start to form when moisture such as rain or snow trickles into cracks and gets under the pavement. Cracks are small at first. But with the stress of heavy traffic and continuing temperature changes, cracks can turn into potholes.

As temperatures drop, water in the cracks expands, making the rift larger and providing space for more moisture to collect during future thaws.

With dramatic temperature changes, from freeze to thaw, more water collects under the surface; when this water freezes, it expands and pushes up the old pavement. This further weakens the pavement and exposes cracks to snow plows.

Once the ice melts, a space is left in the pavement. The weakened pavement is then under the pressure of plows, salt and heavy truck traffic.

The Tollway has crews at each of its 12 maintenance sites dedicated to pothole repair. During periods when potholes are most prevalent, Tollway maintenance staff may work around the clock to manage potholes in critical areas. Repairs are scheduled to have the least impact on traffic.

Storms and breakdown of old pavement require temporary patches almost daily on older roadways until we can mobilize crews to grind off the crumbling layer of asphalt and lay down a new layer that will last through the winter.

Safety is our first concern. If you get a flat tire caused by a pothole, move your vehicle to the shoulder if you can do so safely before attempting to change the tire. Call *999 to request assistance if needed.

To file an insurance claim

In order to file an insurance claim, a police report must be filed with the Illinois State Police. Call 630-241-6800 extension 5042 to file a report for non-criminal damage, as well as incidents that don't involve injuries, tolls or hit-and-runs.

Please have the following information available when filing the report:

Driver Information

  • Name, address, phone number, daytime contact information, date of birth
  • Driver's license number, state, classification


Vehicle Information

  • Make, model, year of manufacture
  • License plate number, state
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Name and address of owner (if not driver)


Insurance Information

  • Name of company
  • Policy number


What can I do to protect my vehicle from pothole damage?

  • Slow down and pay close attention to the road ahead. This increases your reaction time and could lower your risk of serious damage.
  • Talk to your auto mechanic. Ask a trusted mechanic to look at your vehicle for uneven wear patterns in your tires. These may indicate misalignment. Also be sure to request a review of your shocks and brakes. Fixing any of these issues may help your vehicle's chances of withstanding a future pothole hit.
  • Avoid driving too close to the side of the road. Potholes are more common in weakened areas, which tend to be either joint points or more heavily traveled portions of the roadway (where tires actually touch).
  • Clean your headlights. Wiping down your headlights on a regular basis is a quick, cheap and easy way to maximize your visibility.
  • Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you in order to increase time to recognize a pothole.
  • Properly inflate your tires. Underinflated tires put you at risk of rim damage and overinflated tires are more susceptible to damage.

Interactive Tollway Map

Winter Weather: Get It Together

Before You Go

On the Road

  • Slow down
  • Steer clear of snowplows
  • Keep safe distance from other vehicles
  • Use caution at bridges, ramps and toll plazas
  • Avoid unnecessary lane changes
  • Drop It and Drive
  • Never use shoulders to pass a snowplow

In Case of Emergency

  • Call *999 for roadway assistance
  • If stranded, stay in your vehicle and wait for Illinois State Police or a H.E.L.P. truck
  • For crashes involving property damage only, report the incident to 630-241-6800 ext. 5042 and continue driving
  • Check your vehicle or gas up at a 7-Eleven fuel station at an Illinois Tollway oasis

Get Winter Ready

During snowstorms or severe weather, the Illinois Tollway urges its customers to plan ahead, take precautions and “Get Winter Ready” before traveling. To ensure that all drivers are prepared for winter weather, the Illinois Tollway has provided resources and information outlining the recommended best practices for staying safe on the road during hazardous conditions. These include video and graphic resources on what to include in your vehicle, tips for driving safely and how to share the road with snowplows.

The Illinois Tollway strives to provide customers with safe travel conditions even during hazardous winter weather. Through the Traffic and Incident Management System (TIMS) center, the central operations center for the Tollway, dispatchers use detailed forecasts to plan and prepare for changing conditions, deploy equipment and manage incidents. Utilizing Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), including sophisticated roadside sensors deployed throughout the system, the Tollway gathers real-time roadway conditions to properly treat and clear the roads.

Did you Know

Preparing the Tollway

Driving in Winter Weather

Preparing your vehicle