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Illinois Trucking Association Asks IDOT to Reduce Speed Limits

February 06, 2014

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The Illinois Trucking Association is calling on the Illinois Department of Transportation to reduce speed limits for automobiles in the state where the department has created a 15 mph differential between car speed limits and truck speed limits.

The association submitted a formal request last week to IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider.

With the passage of Public Act 98-0511, the maximum limit was raised from 65 mph to 70 mph outside of urban areas as of Jan. 1. Unfortunately, this has created locations in rural parts of the Chicago-area’s collar counties (Will, Kane, Lake, and McHenry) where IDOT has posted a 70 mph limit for cars but the truck speed limit remains 55 mph.

“The Illinois Trucking Association believes that a 15 mph differential between cars and trucks is too dangerous,” says ITA Executive Director Matt Hart. “Prior to Jan. 1, the maximum differential in Illinois was 10 mph. We believe that the Illinois Department of Transportation should reduce the automobile speed limit in these areas and return those areas to a place where trucks are limited to 55 and cars are limited to 65 mph.”

Hart adds, “For the safety of all motorists, the Illinois Trucking Association is hopeful that IDOT will return the car speed limits in these areas back to the 65 mph limits that were in place before Jan, 1.”

Comments

  1. 1. Robert Riggs [ February 09, 2014 @ 08:01AM ]

    It is disingenuous to believe highways are safer because trucks have to drive 55 when the opposite is true. And it becomes a serious problem when a trucker going 55 wants to pass a trucker going 54 and the higher volume of cars gets stacked up behind the slower trucks which results in rear end collisions. Raise the speed limit for the trucks and make sure the equipment and the driver are rated and capable for the higher speeds.

  2. 2. Trent [ February 10, 2014 @ 09:53AM ]

    This is just absurd. Who in their right mind thought this proposal was a good idea? I 100% agree with the issue of a 15 mph differential being unsafe, because it absolutely is. That's not even taking into account the ACTUAL speed that most cars drive on the affected roads because they are all within the Chicagoland "No Fly" Zone (55 mph truck limit). Typically, I see "4-wheelers" running a minimum of 10 mph over the posted limit, and 25 over isn't uncommon at all, especially as you near Chicago. And then there's the aggression factor (when a flying car is outraged by your unacceptably slow (read: legal) speed, and darts into your lane and/or brake checks you in protest) which is random and another danger all by itself. As a side note, this is precisely why I run a dash cam.

    You want to fix the problem?

    1. Reduce the differential to 5 mph by raising the truck limit accordingly. That would result in maximum of 65 mph in the affected area, which is well within the limits of any modern truck, and frankly what many trucks do anyways. It is also very near the hallowed "62" that most large fleets have embraced as the holy grail of economy.
    2. Enforce the laws. No disrespect to the LEO community, but Illinois is a joke when it comes to traffic enforcement. ISP is somewhat feared but not strong enough in numbers (likely because we're so broke), County is generally ineffective (Cook County is the laughing stock of LEO), and local tries, but that's generally not where the problems exist. On that note, locals need truck enforcement that knows, well...trucks. Too many think they know, but don't actually know jack about truck laws. They succeed only because most drivers don't know any better, or are afraid to argue the law.
    3. Harsher penalties. People violate traffic laws because they can generally get away with it if they actually DO get caught (see point #2). Stop making deals, stop with the supervision. Make it painful...very painful, to drive like an idiot. Take away licenses for severe infractions. Make examples out of people, and the word will travel. Screw the lawyers and prosecutors who make deals and then discuss where they're taking each other to lunch after their tennis match. As a professional driver, I am very cautious of infractions now, and I make no claims of being an angel. My commitment to my family's welfare keeps me dialed back (the dash cam helps, too)

    It saddens me to see the ITA apparently following in the footsteps of the ATA, whose only interests are of those mega fleets who have members on the board.

    For those who would ask, I am a 10 year veteran of trucking with over a half million miles and no major accidents in my career. I haul hazmat liquids (low flash point fuels, mostly) in smooth bore (non-baffled) trailers, rarely full to capacity. Not only must I contend with traffic, but also my load as well, as it is in constant motion. I am acutely aware of my surroundings at all times, because I know the consequences of a major crash will likely be devastating and fatal, not only to myself but to many motorists around me. I protect myself at all costs, including the convenience of other drivers if necessary. I avoid potential traffic snarls and choose my lane accordingly. I don't really wish to go faster than anyone, I just wish to go with as little disruption/drama as possible, because that is the safest way for me to do my job.

  3. 3. Alan [ February 15, 2014 @ 02:06AM ]

    Shortly after the 70 mph speed limit took effect, I was driving a friend to a Downers Grove conference in my private automobile. As we approached the Will County line on northbound IH55, I told him he was about to see an example of incredible stupidity. Sure enough, there it was - a 55 mph speed limit for trucks in a 70 mph zone beginning in the middle of nowhere. If Chicagoland politicians will not back an end to the split speed limit, perhaps they would at least be willing to remove Will County from the list of counties in which it is imposed. This would go a long way to solving the problem as most of the miles with the 15 mph differential are in that one county.

 

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