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70 MPH Speed Limit Proposal Making its Way through Legislature

State Sen. Jim Oberweis is sponsoring a bill that would increase the state's highest speed limit by 5 mph.

If driving 65 mph on Illinois’ highways just isn’t fast enough for you, don’t worry: The state’s highest speed limit may soon be increased.

State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) is sponsoring a bill that already has made its way through the state Senate that would increase the speed limit to 70 mph on state highways, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

The measure is a "business friendly" bill that would allow companies to move commerce in a faster way, Oberweis said. 

“This is a bipartisan, good-government bill, which would allow the maximum speed limit on tollways and interstate highways to increase to 70 mph to bring Illinois in line with most of the rest of the country,” Oberweis said. “The interstates were designed for a higher rate of speed, and currently, there are 34 states with speed limits of 70 mph or higher. All of Illinois’ neighboring states, except Wisconsin, have speed limits of 70 mph. Fifteen states have speed limits of 75 mph and one state has a speed limit of 85 mph.”

The bill allows Cook County, the collar counties, Madison County and St. Clair County to opt out of the higher speed and also provides public safety enhancements in the form of a lowered threshold upon which the penalty for speeding is increased from a petty offense to a misdemeanor, according to a release from Oberweis’ office.

Those speeding in excess of 26 mph but less than 35 mph (currently 31–40 mph) will receive a Class B misdemeanor charge. Speeding in excess of 35 mph (currently 40 mph) would be a Class A misdemeanor, the senator’s office said.

The bill recently passed the Senate by a vote of 41-6-1, and will now make its way to the Illinois House. 

What do you think? Is this a good idea, or is 65 mph plenty fast?

—Original reporting by Steven Jack


A.J May 02, 2013 at 01:02 PM
they call them expressways, so go for it, if you can't handle the speed stay off the expressways, simple.
Duke Ganote May 02, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Quinn should have no qualms about raising the speed limit. Rural interstates have (1) the lowest fatality rate of any Illinois rural road -- 0.39 compared to 1.84 to 3.37 rates elsewhere --, (2) the lowest rate of so-called "speed-related" crashes, and (3) account for barely 7% of total traffic deaths, Bluntly, rural interstates are the fastest, safest, and most fuel-efficient roads carrying long distance travelers, truckers, and tourists. They deserve a higher limit. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2009/fi30.cfm http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2009/fi10.cfm http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/speedmgt/data_facts/docs/speeding_counts.pdf

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