Quinn to decide on rural highway speed limit today

Governor Quinn has until today to sign a bill upping the speed limit on some rural Illinois highways.

Legislators sent a bill to Quinn back in May, raising the limit to 70 miles per hour.

34 other states, including most of Illinois’ neighbors already have 70 mile an hour limits.

Proponents say the increase will help the trucking industry.

Opponents warn it would lead to an increase in fatalities.

State police and Illinois transportation secretary, Ann Schneider, are against the measure.

Quinn hasn’t indicated which way he’ll go.

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8 comments

  • Cops Suck!

    Of course the State Police aren't supportive, less speeding tickets, less revenue. Everyone already drives 70-ish, the difference is now you can get a speeding ticket vs not if the speed limit were raised.

    Cops are such a joke!!

  • Steve Doner

    Here is a summary version of my case for higher interstate speed limits. Please feel free to share.

    PART 1 OF 2

    1.Nearly 90% of fatalities occur on secondary roads. Only about 6% of fatalities occur on rural interstates plus another 7% on urban interstates nationwide. Increased speed limits would not apply to the roads where 87% to 94% of fatalities occur (depending on whether urban interstates are included).
    2.Higher speed limits on interstates helps draw traffic away from secondary highways which are more dangerous, thus increasing overall road safety.
    3.For decades, traffic engineers have promoted establishment of speed limits based on 85th percentile speeds – the maximum speed at which 85% of motorists travel when unencumbered by traffic or enforcement. Well informed state police and transportation departments also advocate this approach.
    4.Speed limits have very little impact on the pace of faster traffic – most drivers, including the police, ignore under-posted limits.
    5.Higher interstate speed limits improve safety by reducing speed variance, road rage and weaving.

  • Steve Doner

    PART 2 OF 3

    6.Under-posted speed limits breed disrespect for all laws, especially traffic laws. This leads to speeding in construction zones and on secondary roads.
    7.Under-posted speed limits leave drivers bored, unengaged and distracted. Since driving does not demand their full attention, drivers talk on the phone and even text while driving…because they can. Do you think drivers text on the German autobahn? Not likely.
    8.With a very few exceptions, even with increased speed limits our interstates are still posted at or below the limits which were in place in 1970 (pre-55). Since then the handling capability and safety equipment on vehicles has improved dramatically such that limits of 80 to 85 should be the norm (as they are in many other parts of the industrialized world).

  • Steve Doner

    PART 3 OF 3

    9.The so-called safety advocates (insurers and others who make money from ticketing) tend to cite studies which count the raw number of fatalities rather than looking at the actual rate per mile driven. The raw number of fatalities fell under the 55 mph speed limit fell primarily because people were driving less (because of gas prices). The actual fatality rate has fallen steadily for nearly 100 years during times of both rising and falling speed limits.
    10.Higher limits reduce congestion and may actually save fuel by allowing drivers to keep a steadier pace.

    Steve Doner
    Former Illinois State Chapter Coordinator
    National Motorists Association

  • Steve Doner

    Charts Supporting Higher Speed Limits:

    The first chart is to establish context on the speed limit debate. Nearly 90% of all traffic fatalities occur on non-interstates. Rural and urban interstate fatalities are each only about 6% of the total for 2011. Data shown is for 2011 but the proportions have been similar for each of the past 5 years. The 2nd chart illustrates that traffic flowing below the average pace of traffic is at the greatest risk. Too-low limits drive law abiding citizens into the highest risk group. The 3rd chart shows that despite claims to the contrary, fatalities have dropped over time regardless of rising and falling speed limits. The 4th chart goes to the extreme and shows that even in Germany, where there is no speed limit, fatalities have fallen as average speeds have gone up over time.
    http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh605/DonerDehttp://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh605/DonerDehttp://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh605/DonerDehttp://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh605/DonerDe

    Steve Doner
    Former Illinois State Chapter Coordinator
    National Motorists Association

  • MrCrabs

    I remember when Interstate highways all had 70. Out west 75 as standard limits (Montana unlimited during daylight). Vehicles from the late 50's through early 70's were no where near as well designed for handling as they are today. Back then tires were 2-ply bias. Now they are radial with a variety of high-strength cords. Back then one would rarely hear of a fatalities on the Interstates. We were all told that the majority of collisions occurred at speeds lower than 40 mph with in a very small radius from our homes. We will see a few going 80+ just because they think they can.

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