News Local/State

70 MPH Speed Limit Bill Goes to Gov. Quinn


The Illinois House has voted on a measure to raise Illinois' top speed limit to 70 miles-per-hour.

Currently, cars and trucks are limited to 65 miles-an-hour on most Illinois highways.

Opponents warned that raising the speed limit would result in more accidents. But the bill's sponsor, Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Smithton) said more accidents happen because of vehicles traveling at different speeds, not because of higher speeds.

"If cars are driving at 70 miles-an-hour on average, someone who's doing 60 has a higher propensity of being in an accident than someone who's doing 80," Costello said. "So, actually the slower-moving traffic causes most of the accidents."

Costello said 34 states have a top speed limit of 70 or higher.

Cook and the collar counties would be allowed to opt-out of the higher speed limit.

House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) said studies show increased speeds result in more crashes and deaths. The only east central Illinois House lawmaker to oppose the bill was Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington.)

The measure passed on a vote of 85 to 30. It has already passed the Senate, so it now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn. A spokeswoman would only say Quinn will "carefully review the bill."