UPDATE: Quinn Signs New Speed Limit Law

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Get ready to step on the gas. Governor Pat Quinn signed a law today raising the speed limit on Illinois highways from 65 to 70 miles per hour.

“Will you actually drive 70?”
"Well you always go 5 to 10 over," one driver said.
“I usually drive pretty close to the limit so I’ll continue to do that," another explained.

Although the speed limit is going up to 70 miles an hour in January the consequences for excessive speeding won't change. Anyone caught doing more than 96 miles an hour could face misdemeanor charges.

BELVIDERE (WIFR) -- While the 70 mile per hour speed limit means getting to our destinations faster, here's one thing you might not have thought of: more trips to the gas station.

According to AAA, driving at 70 miles per hour uses up to four-and-a-half percent more fuel than driving at 65 miles an hour.

"As a truck driver I don't mind going a little bit faster to get where I’m going, but it also costs more in fuel so a slower steady pace, I don't think there's anything wrong with the 65," Mark Cornell, a truck driver from Minnesota, said.

Drivers won't be the only ones seeing a drop in their bank balances. The Illinois Tollway says it will cost $17,500 to change all the signs along the tollway from 65 to 70.


UPDATE: – Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law to increase the speed limit from 65 to 70 miles-per-hour (mph) on rural four-lane highways, and to lower the limit by five mph for excessive speeding.

The law will bring Illinois’ speed limit in line with 36 other states that have speed limits of 70 mph or higher on some portion of their roadways, including other large states such as California, Florida, Texas and Ohio, and neighboring states such as Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa and Michigan. The bill passed with significant bipartisan support in both chambers.
“This limited five miles-per-hour increase will bring Illinois’ rural interstate speed limits in line with our neighbors and the majority of states across America, while preventing an increase in excessive speeding,” Governor Quinn said. “I encourage all motorists to continue to respect our traffic laws, avoid distractions and exercise common sense behind the wheel to protect the safety of themselves and others.”

Sponsored by State Senator Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) and State Representative Jerry Costello Jr. (D-Smithton), Senate Bill 2356 increases the maximum speed limit from 65 to 70 mph on four-lane divided highways outside of urban areas. The law allows Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair and Will Counties to opt-out by adopting an ordinance that sets a lower maximum speed limit, empowering counties to make adjustments based on their own local needs.

The new law also includes an additional safety provision, which lowers the limit by five mph at which drivers may be charged by law enforcement with excessive speeding. Currently, the threshold for penalties is 31 mph over the limit. The new law lowers that threshold to 26 mph over the limit to increase safety on Illinois roads.
The law is effective January 1, 2014.

Illinois joins 36 other states with speed limits of 70 mph or higher, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.


CHICAGO (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn is due to make a decision on a law that would increase the state speed limit.

The legislation would raise the speed limit on rural interstates in Illinois from 65 to 70 mph starting in January. Eight counties in the congested Chicago area would be allowed to keep their limits lower.

However, the Illinois State Police and Quinn's transportation chief are opposed, saying current speed limits should be enforced more strictly. The governor hasn't indicated which way he'll go.

Quinn told reporters at an unrelated Chicago event on Sunday that his decision was coming the following day.

More than 30 states have boosted speed limits to at least 70 mph since Congress scrapped lower federal limits nearly two decades ago.


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