Quinn signs bill into law to increase Illinois speed limit

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Reporter - Kathryn DiGisi

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ill. - Starting January 1, rural interstates in Illinois will move a little faster.

Governor Quinn signed a bill into law on Monday that will increase the top speed limit from 65 to 70 miles per hour.

Illinois is the only state in the Local 6 region to have a speed limit of 65.

Supporting lawmakers say this change was necessary to bring Illinois into the 21st Century, but not everyone is for the change.

Bettie Kinley drives I-57 every day, toting around her grandchildren.

In just a few months, one of them will be behind the wheel himself.

"I let him drive my van for the first time today," said Kinely.

But she says the increased speed limit does not heighten her fears.

"We all go over what it is so five miles more isn't going to hurt anything," said Kinely.

Trooper Joey Watson says a five mile per hour increase can turn an accident fatal, especially if it involves a semi-truck.

He says even at 65 miles per hour a semi-truck will intrude a car and strike the driver.

Trooper Watson says it is a simple equation: more speed equals more crush.

"The more crush that's involved in the vehicle and subsequently more injuries," said Watson.

Trooper Watson says the small five mile per hour increase will make a big difference when drivers are trying to stop.

Under the new law, more congested counties will be able to keep their speed limit at 65 miles per hour if they so choose.

 

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