70-mph speed limit fast-tracked after veto override

70-mph speed limit fast-tracked after veto override

Contrary to Quinn, Illinois drivers are likely to get 70-mph speed limits on tollways statewide as early as Dec. 2.

The Illinois Senate voted 44-5-1 on Thursday to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of legislation that would increase speed limits to 70 mph on all Illinois tollways. The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, will now move to the Illinois House of Representatives for consideration.

Quinn vetoed Senate Bill 2015 on Aug. 26 after it passed the General Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support. It’s expected the House will echo its past support – representatives voted 111-4 in favor of the bill on May 29 – as early as Dec. 2. As there is no effective date written into statute, the bill would then become law immediately.

After the veto, Quinn said he was placing “the safety risks to children, families and our dedicated public servants” above “the convenience of increased speeds for drivers.”

Contrary to the governor’s grumbling, Illinoisans need not be afraid.

Fear is a formidable factor in speed-limit debates, but the “speed kills” argument is disputable at best. In fact, there’s a convincing argument to be made for a statewide increase to 75 mph, according to the traffic-engineering rule of thumb known as the “85th percentile speed.”

It should also be noted that Quinn’s concerns didn’t prevent him from upping limits on Illinois’ rural tollways to 70 mph from 65 mph in 2013.

To the benefit of Illinois drivers, the voices of their representatives will likely be heard; 70-mph speed limits could be the norm come Christmas.

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