Slow moving to faster interstate speeds in Illinois

A move to raise the speed limit on Illinois highways is now crawling along as Illinois Governor Pat Quinn keeps waiting to make a move.

At the scenic overlook off I-80 near Rapid City you can find drivers traveling all over.

“We were on our way back from a wedding in Minnesota,” said Neal Thomas of Indiana.

“I’m gonna ride the Blue Ridge,” said David Braater of Minnesota.

All who say they wouldn’t mind if they could go a little faster through Illinois. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, Illinois is just one of 16 states that has a rural interstate speed lower than 70 miles an hour. Wisconsin is at 65, but Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri are all at 70.

“Five miles over and more than likely many are already traveling at that speed,” said Braater.

“Doesn’t matter what the speed limit is, ya know you’re gonna take the five extra if they can squeeze,” said Gunnar O’Hara, a semi-truck driver.

So what’s the big deal with increasing speed just five miles an hour? The Illinois Department of Transportation, who opposed the legislation, said in a statement that raising limits will raise average speeds and both crashes and fatalities will increase. The statement also says that while the state’s overall fatality rate is lower, speed related fatalities are higher because drivers tend to drive five to ten miles over the speed limit.

“Of course anybody traveling at a faster speed in it is more dangerous. Things happen faster,” said O’Hara.

Governor Quinn is reviewing the legislation. If he signs the bill, the law would go into effect January 1, 2014.

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