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Illinois Considering Increasing Speed Limits

 Posted on February 21, 2017 in Traffic violation

Just three years after the state raised the speed limit to 70 mph on some highways, Illinois is again considering upping the speed limit.

Senate Bill 2036 seeks to increase the speed on a number of highways throughout Illinois. Here’s a look at the proposed bill.

House Bill 2036 provides that unless some other speed restriction is established under a Chapter in the Code governing rules of the road, the maximum speed limit outside an urban district for any vehicle is 60 miles per hour (rather than 55 miles per hour) on all highways, roads, and streets that do not have 4 or more lanes of traffic and are not interstate highways and 75 miles per hour (rather than 70 miles per hour) on Interstate Route 355, Interstate Route 80, and every interstate west of Interstate Route 355 and south of Interstate Route 80.

Should We Raise The Speed Limit?

The proposal has been met with support and opposition. Some people¬†feel that drivers already exceed the posted speed limit, and they fear they’ll exceed the new limits in a similar manner, meaning 80 or 85 mph on the highway may become the norm. Others, like Kelsey Stevens, say it’s about time the state upped the speed limit.

“In South Dakota, where I’m from, it’s 85 mph and it seems to work a lot better, most people travel that fast anyway,” said¬†Kelsey Stevens.

Aside from safety concerns, raising the speed limit would also have some interesting implications for criminal law. For starters, we’d likely see a drop in the number of people charged with aggravated speeding. Under Illinois law, aggravated speeding is classified as going at least 40 mph over the posted speed limit. People will still earn the ticket for going 65 mph in a 25 mph zone, but we can’t imagine many people getting them for topping 115 mph.

Secondly, it wouldn’t be surprising if we saw an uptick in single-digit speeding tickets. If the speed limit is moved to 75 mph, some cops might begin to hand out more tickets for anyone topping 80 or 85 mph. You’ve probably gone past a cop doing more than 10 mph before because you were going with the flow of traffic, but it would be hard to imagine officers letting those speeds go as frequently with an increased speed limit. We’ll keep an eye on the proposal as it heads to legislature.

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