The National Safety Council Thursday called on members of the Illinois House of Representatives to support Governor Rod Blagojevich's veto of SB 540, which will increase speed limits of large trucks on Illinois interstate highways
to 65 mph. The House is expected to vote next week to override the veto.
"I urge the members of the Illinois House of Representatives to take this important action to save lives on Illinois highways," said Alan McMillan, president of the National Safety Council.
"Scientific studies support what we know from the laws of physics," McMillan said. "Crash severity increases with speed. Large trucks require much longer distances than cars to stop. The greater the speed, the greater the stopping distance and the greater the risk of serious injury or death in a crash. The physical impact of a truck hitting another vehicle is 40 percent greater when traveling 65 mph, compared to 55 mph."
"We also know that raising speed limits raises average speeds," McMillan said. "We know that the percentage of trucks going faster than 70 mph is twice as high in states with uniform 65 mph limits as it is in states with different car and truck speed limits. We also know that lower speed limits for trucks reduce the risk of crashes since lower speeds make stopping distances closer to those of lighter vehicles."
McMillan pointed to other Midwestern states, such as Missouri, that raised their speed limits for trucks and subsequently experienced more truck-related fatalities.