Bill to end split speed limit passes Illinois House

| Tuesday, March 25, 2003

A bill in the Illinois General Assembly to eliminate the state's split speed limit has passed the House and is now before the Senate Rules Committee.

HB1186, which was introduced by Rep. Dan Reitz, D-Sparta, was approved by a vote of 86-18 on March 19.

The bill 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 it passes, it would become effective Jan. 1, 2004.

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