The Illinois Trucking Association has been successful in getting the speed limit differential between cars and trucks reduced in some rural areas near Chicago, effective Jan. 1, 2015.
On Tuesday, the Illinois House voted 103-12 to override Gov. Quinn's veto of Senate Bill 930, a bill initiated by the association to reduce the 70/55-mph speed limit differentials between cars/trucks. The Illinois Senate previously voted 54-0 to override the veto.
Now that both chambers have voted to override, speed limit differentials between cars and trucks can be restored to a 10-mph difference, 70/60, in a select few rural areas near the Chicago area.
Although the association initially sought to see the speed differential reduced by lowering automobile speed limits, the Illinois Department of Transportation declined that request. So the association sought a 5-mph increase in the truck speed limit in order to restore the 10-mph differential that was in place prior to 2014, explained ITA Executive Director Matt Hart.
Before 2014, speed limits on Illinois' rural interstates were 65 mph for all vehicles throughout the state. In Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties, the maximum speed limit was 65 mph for cars and 55 mph for trucks. As you enter the urban, Chicago area, the speed limit for all vehicles is 55 mph.
On Jan. 1, Public Act 98-0511 raised the speed limit in Illinois to 70 mph for all vehicles; however, existing statutes kept truck speed limits on rural interstates for trucks in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties at 55. The result was that IDOT created several areas where the speed limit for cars is 70 mph and the speed limit for trucks is 55: a 15-mph differential. (For example, I-55 from Arsenal Road to Braidwood has a car speed limit of 70 mph and a truck speed limit of 55 mph).
The association's request, sponsored by Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) and Representative Marty Moylan (D-Des Plaines) in SB 930, received unanimous support in both chambers. IDOT was neutral on SB 930, as was the Illinois State Police.
Nevertheless, Gov. Quinn vetoed SB 930 on August 11, setting up the override votes in the fall veto session.