Illinois Top Speed Limit to Increase to 70

August 19, 2013

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Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday signed legislation increasing the speed limit from 65 to 70 mph on rural four-lane highways and to lower the limit by five mph for excessive speeding, effective January 1, 2014.

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,” said Gov. Quinn. “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.”

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.

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.


  1. 1. Sam Layne [ August 20, 2013 @ 08:25AM ]

    its funny don't you think ? that the feds put on more reg's on truckers that eat up there driving time like the 1/2 break that if not taken will take away 7 points in a lie , and a pre +post test. and e-logs coming into effect, that the states are upping there speed limits

  2. 2. Steve Doner [ August 20, 2013 @ 12:45PM ]

    PART 1 OF 2

    The increased speed limit was written, intended to and SHOULD APPLY TO METRO CHICAGO for the same reasons that it makes sense for rural areas. The house and senate overwhelmingly passed it as such. It should not matter that the governor can’t seem to read – there were enough votes to override his veto anyway.

    All the evidence indicates that there would be no negative impact on safety. In fact, the opposite is true. Our ROADS WOULD BE SAFER because most traffic is already moving at 70 or higher. The few cars going 55-60 are a danger to themselves and to others. A higher limit would help get the slower traffic up to the average.

    Higher Interstate Speed Limits Would Enhance Overall Highway Safety

    1. Nearly 90% of fatalities occur on secondary roads. Only about 6% of fatalities occur on rural interstates plus another 7% on urban interstates nationwide. Increased speed limits would not apply to the roads where 87% to 94% of fatalities occur (depending on whether urban interstates are included).

    2. Higher speed limits on interstates helps draw traffic away from secondary highways which are more dangerous, thus increasing overall road safety.

    3. For decades, traffic engineers have promoted establishment of speed limits based on 85th percentile speeds – the maximum speed at which 85% of motorists travel when unencumbered by traffic or enforcement. Well informed state police and transportation departments also advocate this approach.

    4. Speed limits have very little impact on the pace of faster traffic – most drivers, including the police, ignore under-posted limits.

    5. Higher interstate speed limits improve safety by reducing speed variance, road rage and weaving.

  3. 3. Steven Doner [ August 20, 2013 @ 12:47PM ]

    PART 2

    6. Under-posted speed limits breed disrespect for all laws, especially traffic laws. This leads to speeding in construction zones and on secondary roads.

    7. Under-posted speed limits leave drivers bored, unengaged and distracted. Since driving does not demand their full attention, drivers talk on the phone and even text while driving…because they can. Do you think drivers text on the German autobahn? Not likely.

    8. With a very few exceptions, even with increased speed limits our interstates are still posted at or below the limits which were in place in 1970 (pre-55). Since then the handling capability and safety equipment on vehicles has improved dramatically such that limits of 80 to 85 should be the norm (as they are in many other parts of the industrialized world).

    9. The so-called safety advocates (insurers and others who make money from ticketing) tend to cite studies which count the raw number of fatalities rather than looking at the actual rate per mile driven. The raw number of fatalities fell under the 55 mph speed limit fell primarily because people were driving less (because of gas prices). The actual fatality rate has fallen steadily for nearly 100 years during times of both rising and falling speed limits.

    10. Higher limits reduce congestion and may actually save fuel by allowing drivers to keep a steadier pace.

    Please tell your county board members to increase the limit. If you don’t act, you may end up paying a $1500 fine and go to prison for 6 months. That is the penalty for going 26 over the limit (81 mph in metro Chicago).

    Steve Doner

    Former Illinois State Chapter Coordinator

    National Motorists Association

  4. 4. sandeep [ February 17, 2014 @ 03:07AM ]

    i really like this site so enjoyble and intersted and amzing


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