Illinois speed limit now 70 mph on some highways

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As of January 1, 2014, drivers can legally drive up to 70 miles per hour on some highways in Illinois.

Despite opposition from the Illinois Department of Transportation, Governor Pat Quinn signed the law in August 2013 that allows for the faster speeds on four-lane divided highways outside of urban areas.  The DOT opposed the higher speeds, saying crashes and fatalities will increase with the speed limit.

Parts of Interstate 280, I-74, I-80 and I-88 are among highways where the new, higher speed limit will be allowed.

Click here:  Map of 70 mph speed limit locations in Illinois

Illinois DOT workers said it will take a couple of weeks for new speed limit signs to be put in place, and that motorists should obey the posted speed limit on all roads until then.

Iowa made the jump from 65 to 70 mph on some non-urban highways in 2005.

Other states with similar limits include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.


  • kathy

    I think its crazy raising the speed limit there are plenty of people that speed now can you imagine what its gonna be like now? I hope they leave the 55 zones at 55. To many deaths now going to be a lot more. That is such a shame.

    • K-Man

      Actually, if you look into it further, you’ll notice that higher speed limits actually reduce the amount of accidents because traffic is moving at the same, albeit faster, rate. Given the advancement of vehicle technology, performance and safety in the last 30 years, there’s no reason to have speed limits laws that were created in the 1970s.

      If you don’t like driving at speed, I’d suggest you take your minivan off the highway so it’s clearer for the rest of us who want to get where we’re going.

    • zoominations

      Rural interstates accounted for 4% of Illinois’ traffic deaths — at the very low rate of 0.40 per 100-million-travel-miles. That’s just a fraction of the 1.95 to 3.67 rates on other rural roads. Your concerns are misplaced.

  • fgfdg

    kathy: did you even look at the map? All of the Chicago and surrounding St. Louis areas will still have the same speed limits

  • H Stowe

    I love the irony of this. On Jan 2, 1974, Nixon signed the 55 mph speed limit into law. 40 years later, Illinois finally posts 70 mph on their interstates.Of course, corrupt Chicago posts 55, which is 10-15 mph lower than the speed limit was in 1959.

  • zoominations

    Raising the speed limit on rural interstates improves travel times for long-distance travelers and tourists. And allows law enforcement to focus on more dangerous behaviors and locations: smart move!

    In fact, rural interstates accounted for 4% of Illinois’ traffic deaths at the very low rate of 0.40 per 100-million-travel-miles — a fraction of the 1.95 to 3.67 rates on other rural roads.

    Interstate minimize the common causes of crashes and delays, which improves travel times, fuel efficiency and safety: a WIN-WIN-WIN. That’s why we build ’em.

    Furthermore, as Dr Mannering, the Purdue University professor who studied the 70-mph limit in Indiana famously said “If going from 65 to 70 doesn’t have a significant effect on the severity of accidents, you have to ask yourself, what about 70 to 75?”

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