Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Oberweis to bring Illinois’ speed limit in line with most of the rest of the country is one step from becoming law.
Senate Bill 2356 increases the maximum speed limit to 70 mph on all interstates and toll highways. Passed by the House of Representatives on May 22 and by the Senate on April 23, the legislation now moves to the Governor’s desk and will become law with his signature.
“The progression of this legislation is a good example of what can be accomplished when lawmakers work together in a bipartisan manner for the good of our state,” Senator Oberweis said. “It was sponsored by lawmakers from both political parties who represent all regions of our state, and now it is up to the Governor to give this measure the serious consideration it deserves.”
Senate Bill 2356 is also sponsored by Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Cicero), the Senate Transportation Committee Chairman, and 28 other Senators; and Representatives Jerry Costello (D-Red Bud), C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) and 40 other House members.
Senator Oberweis said the interstates were designed for a higher rate of speed, and currently, there are 34 states with speed limits of 70 mph or higher. All of Illinois’ neighboring states, except Wisconsin, have speed limits of 70 mph. Fifteen states have speed limits of 75 mph and one state has a speed limit of 85 mph.
At the request of the Illinois State Police, Senate Bill 2356 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 miles per hour 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 2356 also allows Cook County, the collar counties, Madison County and St. Clair County to opt out of the higher speed limit via ordinance.