Illinois approves uniform speeds on more roadways

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 7/28/2011

Truckers traveling through Illinois soon will be able to drive the same speed as other vehicles on more roadways throughout the state.

At the encouragement of truckers, Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law on Wednesday, July 27, a bill that takes the next step toward uniform speeds on roadways in the state. OOIDA leadership says Illinois truckers should be congratulated for their years of hard work pushing lawmakers to rid the state of speed limit differentials.

In 2009, Quinn signed into law a bill to authorize trucks to travel 65 mph on rural, interstate highways – the same speed as smaller vehicles.

Previously SB1913, the new law expands the 65 mph speed limit for cars and trucks to include certain four-lane, divided highways. The change affects U.S. and state highways outside of Chicago and the five surrounding “collar” counties.

Truckers will be able to drive the same speed as cars on affected roadways starting Jan. 1, 2012.

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

“After I passed that initial legislation, I went home to my district. I realized there is a divided highway that runs through the heart of my district that wasn’t included in the legislation,” Sullivan previously told Land Line. The finding spurred Sullivan to come back to the statehouse and continue his work on uniform speeds.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer says the 2009 law was a major step toward improving safety on Illinois roadways. The new law 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,” Spencer said.

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

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