A bill to increase the speed limit for trucks on some non-urban Illinois highways, which was passed unanimously in both chambers of the Illinois state legislature, has been vetoed by Governor Pat Quinn.
The trucking industry supported the bill, claiming that a high speed differential between cars and trucks is dangerous. The top speed for cars on nonurban highways in Illinois is 70 mph, an increase from 65 mph that went into effect on January 1, after Governor Quinn signed a measure raising the limit. Trucks in most Illinois counties may travel at the same posted speed as automobiles, but they are limited to 55 mph in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties, which the Illinois Trucking Association (ITA) says is dangerous.
The ITA said that it did not support raising the speed limit for cars, because it would increase the speed differential between cars and trucks. It now supports raising the speed limit for trucks for the same reason.
In a letter to Illinois legislators, Quinn said that the increased speed for trucks would lead to an increase in highway fatalities.
Russ Rader, a representative of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said that research does not support the idea that a high speed differential between cars and trucks is dangerous. He said that lower speed limits for trucks are safer, as they reduce stopping distance and allow cars to pass trucks more easily.
Matt Hart, the director of the Illinois Trucking Association, said that he expected legislators to call for a vote to override Quinn’s veto.