New Law for 2014 to Raise Speed Limits

speed limitIn August of 2013, Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law that will increase the speed limit to 70 miles per hour for some highways in Illinois.  Illinois is the 35th state to increase their speed limits to 70 mph.  The law allows eight counties to opt-out depending on their local safety concerns.  The eight counties are Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair and Will.

Quinn approved the new law saying that “this limited 5 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.”  The law also amended the previous definition of “excessive” from 31 mph over the speed limit to 26 mph over.

Quinn took the summer to consider the bill and decided that it was good for commerce and the drivers of Illinois.  Political support is also clear as the law passed 85 to 30 in the House and 41 to 6 in the Senate.  But there are many detractors to the new law including state police, roadway safety organizations, and the Illinois Department of Transportation.

These opponents to the bill cite safety as their main concern.  The higher speed limit will increase deadly car accidents and make it more difficult for big trucks to brake. There is historical data that supports their disapproval of the new law.  In Iowa, politicians increased the speed limit on their highways from 65 to 70.  The subsequent year saw a 33 percent increase in fatal accidents on the highways in Iowa.

The law will take effect in 2014, barring any changes made by the counties that can opt-out.  But law enforcement agencies have made it clear that speeding is still a priority.  Illinois State Police spokesperson Monique Bond stated “our mission does not change.  If motorists exceed any posted speed limits, they can expect to receive a warning or citation.”  If you have received a ticket or are in danger of losing your license, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Chicago today.

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