Illinois is one step closer to raising the interstate highway speed
limit to 70 mph now that the state House approved the measure Wednesday.
The legislation, sponsored by StateRep. Jerry Costello II (D-Smithton), now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn's desk. The governor has not yet said if he will sign it.
The Illinois Senate passed legislation, SB 2356, to increase the speed limit in April. State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) was the bill's main sponsor in his chamber.
Both the House and Senate okayed the speed increase by veto-proof majorities.
As it stands now, the top speed limit on Illinois interstate highways and tollways is 65 mph.
The counties of Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, Will, McHenry, Madison and St. Clair are allowed to opt out from having the higher speed under the measure if they find it to be inappropriate.
More than 30 other states already allow drivers to travel at speeds of 70 or 75 mph.
Critics of the bill, including officials from the Illinois Department of Transportation, have said
higher speeds could lead to more serious collisions. They have also
said the measure may actually result in people driving at speeds even higher than the allowed maximum.