Bill to end split speed limits up for vote soon in Illinois

| 3/14/2003

A bill in the Illinois General Assembly to eliminate the state’s split speed limit is likely to come up for a final vote in the House of Representatives in the next week or two.

HB1186, which was introduced by Rep. Dan Reitz, D-Sparta, would cut provisions in Illinois law that set up a slower speed for vehicles with a gross weight of more than 8,000 pounds. Those vehicles can now travel at 55 mph on the state’s highways, while other vehicles are limited to 65 mph. Under the new bill, all vehicles would face a 65 mph speed limit.

The bill is primarily of interest to rural parts of the state, Reitz said. Highways in the city of Chicago and its suburbs are likely to remain at 55 mph for all vehicles, as they are now.

A previous attempt to eliminate the split was killed after the Illinois State Police sent a letter to legislators just before the final vote opposing the bill. That is not likely to happen this time.

“The State Police are going to go neutral on the bill,” Reitz told Land Line March 13.

If the bill passes, it would become effective Jan. 1, 2004.

--by Mark H. Reddig, associate editor