Quinn approves speed limit increase on Illinois' interstates

By WEEK Producer

August 19, 2013 Updated Aug 19, 2013 at 10:37 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The speed limit on many Illinois' interstate will increase come January 1, 2014. On Monday, Governor Pat Quinn signed off on a bill raising the speed limit on rural interstates to 70 miles per hour.

“This limited five miles-per-hour increase will bring Illinois’ rural interstate speed limits in line with our neighbors and the majority of states across America, while preventing an increase in excessive speeding,” Governor Quinn said.

Both the Illinois House and Senate passed a bill earlier this year that will increase the speed limit from 65 mph to 70 mph.

The new law also includes an additional safety provision, which lowers the limit by five mph at which drivers may be charged by law enforcement with excessive speeding. The new law lowers that threshold to 26 mph over the limit to increase safety on Illinois roads.

The bill will allow Chicago and St. Louis area counties to opt out of the higher limits, if they want.

The new limit is getting mixed reviews.

"It's 65 out there now and they go 70 or 80. So if you increase it now they're going to go 80 or 90," said Barbara Stork, Missouri motorist.

"With the 70, you get more people who are going 75 and even 80 and it's the greater range of speeds that people are going that is the unsafe factor," said Scott Weller, Illinois motorist.

"Most people speed anyways so it would just make it a little easier,” said Ellen Rodin, Illinois Motorist.

The increase will take effect January 1, 2014.