The Illinois Senate Transportation
Committee has scheduled a hearing on a bill that would eliminate the state’s
split speed limit, a spokeswoman for the committee told Land Line April
HB1186 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 hearing is scheduled
for 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 29; if the committee votes to approve the
bill at that hearing, the measure will then go before the full Senate.
The bill was introduced
by Rep. Dan Reitz, D-Sparta, and was approved in the House by a vote of
86-18 on March 19. In the Senate, the bill is being sponsored by Sen. George
Shadid, who is chairman of the Transportation Committee.
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 last month.
If HB1186 passes, it
would become effective Jan. 1, 2004.
--by Mark H. Reddig,
Mark Reddig can be contacted