Senator Jim Oberweis has successfully challenged a gubernatorial veto of legislation he sponsored to raise the speed limit on Illinois toll highways to 70 miles-per-hour.
The Senate voted 44-5-1 on November 20 to override Governor Pat Quinn’s veto of Senate Bill 2015.
“The Governor is fond of saying ‘Let the will of the people be the law of the land,’ yet he was quick to veto legislation that was sponsored by 36 Senators representing Chicago, suburban and downstate areas of Illinois,” Senator Oberweis said. “And today, a majority of my colleagues in the Senate joined me in overriding the Governor’s veto.”
Senate Bill 2015 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Governor Quinn vetoed Senator Oberweis’ Senate Bill 2015 on August 26, citing evidence that tollway drivers already exceed the speed limit in many cases, which he said can lead to serious accidents. Oberweis noted a recent study showed that differential speeds between vehicles were actually more problematic. The original 70-mph speed-limit law he sponsored last year – Senate Bill 2356 – already provides tougher penalties for people who exceed the speed limit by more than 26 mph.
“The Governor’s argument that tollway drivers already exceed the speed limit is a great argument as to why we should increase the current speed limit to 70 mph,” Senator Oberweis said. “And it is an argument we have already addressed in the original law. Those who exceed the 70 mph limit by more than 26 mph now face tougher penalties.”
Senator Oberweis said the original law, which took effect January 1, provides public safety enhancements in the form of a lowered threshold upon which the penalty for speeding is increased from a petty offense to a misdemeanor. Speeding in excess of 26 mph but less than 35 mph (currently 31-40 mph) will be a Class B misdemeanor. Speeding in excess of 35 mph (currently 40 mph) will be a Class A misdemeanor.
Senate Bill 2015 was passed by a 111-4 vote of the House of Representatives on May 29 and by a 48-6 vote of the Senate on May 21.