Illinois one step closer to uniform speeds on more roadways

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 4/27/2011

A bill to authorize uniform speeds on more Illinois roadways is one step away from heading to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk.

The House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety Committee voted 4-3 on Wednesday, April 27, to advance a bill to the House floor that would expand the 65 mph speed limit for cars and trucks to include four-lane, divided highways outside of the Chicago area.

If approved by the full House, the bill – SB1913 – would move to the governor’s desk. The Senate already approved the bill by unanimous consent.

In 2009, Gov. Quinn signed into law a bill authorizing trucks to travel the same speed as smaller vehicles on rural, interstate highways. This year’s version would include U.S. and state highways outside of Chicago and the five surrounding “collar” counties.

Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, sponsor of the 2009 law and SB1913, said the issue was brought back to the statehouse to make the change more far-reaching.

“After I passed that initial legislation, I went home to my district and I realized there is a divided highway that runs through the heart of my district that wasn’t included in the legislation,” Sullivan recently told Land Line. “That’s when I decided we need to come back and work on this some more.”

OOIDA officials say the 2009 law was a major step toward improving safety on Illinois roadways. This year’s version moves the state closer to the goal of uniform speeds on all roadways in the state.

“There is no scenario where a policy to set different speed limits would make any safety sense,” said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer.

The Association has issued multiple Calls to Action encouraging Illinois truckers to contact lawmakers about the bill. Truckers now are encouraged to contact their state Representatives to urge their support.

“Lawmakers need to know this is an important issue that needs to be acted on,” Spencer said.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Illinois, click here.

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