Conflicting stats in Illinois split-speed debate

| 10/9/2007

As the debate rages in Illinois over getting rid of the state’s split speed limit, both sides of the issue are throwing out statistics to support their cases.

The National Safety Council is telling lawmakers that the severity of a crash increases with speed, and that the impact of being hit by a truck is 40 percent greater at 65 mph than at 55 mph.

However, the Mid-West Truckers Association says that U.S. Department of Transportation statistics show that states with a uniform speed limit have a lower fatality rate than Illinois.

The Illinois senate has voted to override a governor’s veto of a uniform speed limit law. The House is expected to vote this week. Both chambers had veto-proof margins when they approved the legislation, but two times in recent years the same scenario has played out and both times lawmakers failed to override the vetoes.