Drivers will soon be able to speed up a bit on some highways. ]
Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill that raises the speed limit on rural interstates to 70 miles an hour. The new law takes effect on January 1 and raises the limit from 65 miles an hour. Illinois joins 36 other states that have at least some parts of highways with speed limits of at least 70.
The bill also lowers the limit for excessive speeding by 5 miles per hour. The more severe penalty now kicks in when drivers exceed the speed limit by 26 mph. The measure was opposed by the Illinois Department of Transportation and State Police.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Legislation increasing the speed limit on interstate highways in Illinois to 70 mph is headed to Gov. Pat Quinn.
The House approved the bill 85-30 Wednesday. The current maximum speed limit is 65 mph.
Sponsoring Rep. Jerry Costello II says the bill is good for business. The Smithton Democrat says it will allow companies to move their wares more quickly.
Gov. Pat Quinn's Transportation Department opposes the increase. But spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says Quinn will review the bill.
House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie says studies show increased speeds result in more crashes and deaths.
But a Jacksonville Republican Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer says motorists heading south avoid Illinois, meaning fewer stops for fuel and food.