AAA Urging Illinois Lawmakers to Strike Down Speed Limit Bill

April 30, 2013

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The American Automobile Association urges Illinois legislators to vote no on SB 2356, which would increase the speed limit to 70 mph on Illinois' roadways. The bill has already passed through the Illinois Senate and awaits a full vote by the Illinois House. 

"The Illinois legislature should not ignore the enormous speeding problem Illinois already has on its roadways," said Brad Roeber, president of AAA Chicago. "Speeding accounts for more than half of Illinois' over 900 roadway fatalities, and this problem cannot be fixed by letting cars and trucks travel faster."

AAA says the data speeding are clear: From 2008-2011, Illinois' roadway fatalities dropped 12 percent; but those fatalities due to speeding rose nearly 14 percent. Furthermore, in 2010 and 2011, Illinois speed limits for large trucks were raised to 65 mph. Over this time, there has been a 39 percent increase in fatalities involving large trucks, the groups says.

"Make no mistake, this bill allows large trucks to travel even faster on our roadways. The majority of large-truck fatalities involve motorists, who unfortunately don't stand a chance against an 80,000 pound vehicle traveling at high speeds," said Roeber.


  1. 1. Steve Doner [ July 16, 2013 @ 10:32AM ]

    Concerning pending legislation to increase Illinois speed limits and a compromise that may leave final decisions to the counties, limits should be increased state-wide, including most Chicago area expressways.

    Studies have long shown that speed limits have little effect on the pace of faster traffic and any traffic engineer will explain that 85th percentile speeds are the proper way to set limits (the maximum speed at which 85% of traffic actually flows when unencumbered).

    Unreasonably low limits do not slow down faster traffic but do cause several types of dysfunction which make the roads more dangerous, including:

    · Increased road rage – brought on by the points noted below…

    · Increased speed variance - slower traffic will tend to flow at the posted limit thus increasing speed variance between the fastest and slowest traffic - a leading cause of road rage when drivers do not keep right and yield to faster traffic.

    · Distracted/impaired drivers - dumbed down limits encourage distracting activities like texting and contribute to road rage when drivers are too busy to notice someone wants to pass.

    · Increased congestion - heavy traffic can only move as fast as the slowest car. Lower limits increase gridlock.

    · Punitive speeding penalties - Illinois instituted "super-speeder laws" recently. Under this law a person can go to jail for driving 85 mph in Chicagoland (30 mph over the limit). If enforced our prisons would soon be full.

    · Loss of respect for all traffic laws – when limits are set at 55 on expressways, some will learn to disregard limits on roadways where 55 is an appropriate speed…including construction zones.

    Insurers, including AAA, like low limits and speed traps because these enable them to charge safe drivers higher rates without any additional risk.

    Steve Doner

    Former Illinois State Chapter Coordinator

    National Motorists Association

  2. 2. Steve Doner [ July 18, 2013 @ 06:13AM ]

    Further to my own comments already posted, here are further thoughts from an excellent source. Please write your own letters to the editor, etc. The split speed limit for cars/trucks is a problem in IL too for some of the same reasons noted in my previous post.

    Increased speed limit not a threat to public safety

    Sun, 05/26/2013 - 11:00am

    By Dan Metz

    A higher speed limit on interstate highways is a threat to public safety, says Kevin J. Martin, speaking for the Illinois Insurance Association. Speaking as an accident reconstructionist with 43 years of experience, more than 80 published scientific papers, and having investigated more than 1,200 road accidents and 150 racing accidents, that statement is pure nonsense.

    Fact: There are literally hundreds of scientific research papers that show that, absent massive police visibility and presence, drivers will travel at whatever speed they feel is comfortable for conditions, regardless of the posted speed limit. For rural interstate highways in Illinois, that speed is currently about 77 mph — coincidentally, the exact same average speed as on the unlimited-speed sections of the German autobahnen.

    Fact: The average death rate from automobile accidents on rural U.S. interstate highway systems is about 0.82 deaths per 100,000,000 miles traveled — coincidentally, the exact same death rate as on the unlimited-speed sections of the German autobahnen.

    Fact: Attributing a traffic fatality to "speeding" relies mainly on the judgment of the police officers who investigated the accidents, essentially none of whom has any training or education in scientific accident reconstruction, and therefore no factual basis for attributing a fatality to "speeding."

    Fact: At one time, speed limits were set according to the 85th percentile rule: the limit was determined by the speed of the fastest 15 percent of traffic. Now, limits are set in a completely arbitrary fashion on interstate highways. Except for school zones and c


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