Illinois lawmakers have successfully challenged a gubernatorial veto of legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Oberweis to raise the speed limit on Illinois toll highways from 55 mph to 70 mph.
The House of Representatives voted 100-11-1 on December 3 and the Senate voted 44-5-1 on November 20 to override Governor Pat Quinn’s veto of Senate Bill 2015.
Senator Oberweis said the legislation has an immediate effective date, but the new law first allows a reasonable amount of time for speed safety studies to be conducted, either by the Toll Highway Authority or the Illinois Department of Transportation.
“We successfully overrode the Governor’s veto, but this does not mean tollway drivers can start driving 70 mph immediately. It is best to determine your speed according to the posted speed-limit signs along the road on which you are driving,” Senator Oberweis said. “Tollway or IDOT officials must first conduct speed safety studies on toll highways, to determine if 70 mph is a safe maximum speed for each particular stretch of road. This is the same process used when the original 70 mph speed limit was implemented last year.”
Governor Quinn vetoed Senate Bill 2015 on Aug. 26, citing evidence that tollway drivers already exceed the speed limit in many cases, which he said can lead to serious accidents. Senator Oberweis said the original 70 mph speed limit law he sponsored last year – Senate Bill 2356 – addresses that issue by providing tougher penalties for people who exceed the speed limit by more than 26 mph. 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.