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Governor demands speed limit veto be upheld

Friday, Sep 28, 2007

This could be a fun debate here. Let’s consider it our second question of the day. From a press release…

Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s top transportation officials were joined today by traffic safety and law enforcement advocates in urging legislators to sustain the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 540, which would have raised the speed limit for trucks in Illinois to 65 miles per hour. The Governor has fought to keep the 55 mph speed limit in place for trucks on Illinois highways for the safety of everyone who travels our roads. During Gov. Blagojevich’s administration fatalities on state roads have dropped by 200 a year, the lowest levels since 1924.

“Raising the speed limit for trucks means more people will die in accidents. It takes a large truck traveling 65 miles per hour 40 percent longer to stop than a truck traveling 55 miles per hour. And that same truck traveling 65 miles per hour has an impact that is 40 percent more destructive than a truck at 55 miles per hour. That’s why I urge the Legislature to sustain my veto of SB 540.” […]

According to AAA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), when tractor-trailer trucks travel at speed rates of 55 mph or higher, it significantly increases the likelihood the truck will either jackknife or rollover. The vast majority of persons killed in crashes involving trucks are occupants of passenger vehicles, not trucks. […]

In 1996, the year after Missouri increased the speed limit for trucks, it recorded 70 more fatalities caused by large trucks, increasing from 97 to 167. If Illinois had a corresponding 72 percent increase as Missouri did, that could translate to 114 more fatalities in one year.

How do you feel about this one?

* Also, as an aside, that line about how traffic fatalities are at their lowest levels since 1924 is something that’s always fascinated me. Check this out from 1999

Six times as many people drive today as in 1925, and the number of motor vehicles in the country has increased 11-fold since then to approximately 215 million. The number of miles traveled in motor vehicles is 10 times higher than in the mid-1920s. Despite this steep increase in motor-vehicle travel, the annual death rate has declined from 18 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 1925 to 1.7 per 100 million VMT in 1997 - a 90% decrease.

Amazing, eh?

* Here are some more Illinois stats, taken from the guv’s press release…

There were 1,454 total fatalities in 2003 and by 2006 the number of fatalities in Illinois was down to 1,254, the lowest number of fatalities since 1924, when there were 1,065.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - A Citizen - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 12:34 pm:

    Why would gov Demand his veto be sustained when all he needs is to give Emil a call and have him not allow a vote on it? Seems like needless PR Grandstanding to me.

  2. - ssssuper - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 12:38 pm:

    Do the trucks even get pulled over for speeding anyway?

    On another note:
    Gov’s been busy today - did you see this yet?

    The interview is fine. But he actually kinda impressed me with how well he knows the September callups for the cubs in the end of this.

  3. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 12:42 pm:

    “ssssuper,” he’s Rain Man when it comes to baseball stats.

  4. - Anon - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 12:45 pm:

    One of the very few things I can agree with Blago on.

  5. - Captain America - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 12:46 pm:

    As far as I am concerned the Governor is 100% right on the merits of his position on this issue in terms of highway safety. However, I don’t agree with his demand that the legislature submit to his will.

  6. - Independent - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 12:52 pm:

    I agree with the Gov. on truck speed limits. If the limit is raised to 65 many trucks will travel 70-75.

  7. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 12:55 pm:

    I would venture to say that no one was wearing a seat belt in 1925, or had an air bag deploy inside their vehicle, or had a car that had survived a NHTSA crash test. I would also venture to say that there were a lot of steep embankments with no guard rail, trees growing near the edge of pavement, and other hazards along the roadways in 1925. I would further surmise that there were few drivers who had attended driver training or who had taken a written drivers test, or who lived in fear of getting arrested for DUI after having a few too many.

    Still, it is a testament to the automotive industry and the safety regulatory agencies, the county, state and federal transportation departments, and those who train our drivers, administer the licencing system, and enforce our traffic laws, that such an incredible number of people can travel millions of miles on the nation’s roadways with a steadily decreasing rate of fatal accidents and serious injuries.

    More can always be done, of course, to further make the nation’s roadways safe. And the introduction of electronic gadgets that people can talk, watch(!) and listen to while driving is a problem. But we seem to be in sight of the limit of what is achievable in highway safety, thanks to the efforts of all the above.

    As far as letting trucks go 65, they’re doing it now. Raise it to 65 and they’ll be doing 75. I do agree it’d be nice if all vehicles could travel at roughly the same rate of speed for operational reasons. However, the public would not stand for lowering the overall freeway speed back to 55 to achieve it, and raising trucks to 65 would introduce the other issues caused by the physics of a large vehicle, so I say leave it like it is.

  8. - Little Egypt - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 1:04 pm:

    When did the speed limit for trucks go down to 55? I haven’t passed a truck on an interstate in years.

  9. - Esteban - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 1:10 pm:

    Most of the semis on the road don’t seem to obey
    the speed limit now.

  10. - Lainer - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 1:14 pm:

    I believe highway fatality rates peaked sometime in the late 1960s, right around the time of Ralph Nader’s “Unsafe at Any Speed” and before the 1970s energy crisis curtailed speeds and driving overall.
    I seem to recall that in the 1970s, it was often reported that as many, or nearly as many, Americans died on the highways every year as died in all 10 years of the Vietnam War (58,000). So really, that drastic decrease in death rates has for the most part taken place within the last 40 years.

  11. - Muskrat - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 1:24 pm:

    Not-so-sly on the gov’s part to emphasize “trucks” and “safety,” huh. And I’m not bowled over by the stats - sounds like the vast majority of traffic deaths are non-truck… still, it’ll save a few gallons of diesel a year, so why not? It’s not like a shipment of widgets cares whether it takes an extra 45 minutes to get from Chicago to St. Louis….

  12. - Excuse Me But.... - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 1:28 pm:

    Those traveling on Interstates & tollways. How many trucks do you see traveling at 55mph? If Gov Ludicrous wants to lower crashes and deaths, maybe he ought to put more Troopers per hour on the roads and do more enforcement.

  13. - He makes Ryan Look like a Saint - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 1:34 pm:

    I agree with Excuse Me But… There are WAY too many uniformed police officers being desk jockys in office jobs rather than be on the road. If you put them on the road just ONE day a week it would make a difference. PLUS they would earn their (Dangerous) Pension.

  14. - Speedie - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 1:37 pm:

    It’s not surprising that the numbers per million vehicle miles continues to fall. I love old cars, but I get amused when a (typically old) guy tells me about how they’re safer because they used real metal back then. If the car doesn’t deform, all that force, of course, gets transferred right into you. Higher seatbelt use, less DUI, myriad airbags, ABS (though the benefits of that tend to be limited because the proper use seems to escape people), and now stability control (which, as it becomes more pervasive will save a lot of people’s bacon, as it requires no skill on the part of the driver) all help to make travel safer.

    Happily those with dire predictions of what was going to happen when cars got to go faster never came to be. Maybe the decrease in deaths per 100 million miles became less sharp, but I’m not even sure of that. I will give you that it takes a lot more gas to push something through the air at 65 than 55, and that gets even worse when you go from 65 to 75. I’ve actually saved time on Chicago trips by slowing down a little bit to stretch my gas ’til I get back to Springfield.

    Long digression. Sorry Rich. Yeah, I’m in favor of keeping trucks at 55. See, when I see them actually going 60 or less, I know it’s time to take my foot out of it because ISP is up ahead. It’s a more reliable method than a radar detector.

  15. - Pepperdine Rocket Scientist - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 1:55 pm:

    Blagojevich figured this out from 40,000 feet all by himself.

  16. - Truth - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 2:00 pm:

    He may know the September call ups from 1983. Seriously.

  17. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 2:01 pm:

    I’m tellin’ ya… Rain Man.

  18. - M - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 2:01 pm:

    The trucks already go 65-70 now with the speed limit at 55mph. So if it’s allowed to be raised to 65mph they will just go 75. Plus, in 16 years of driving on the interstates in Illinois, I’ve never once seem a truck pulled over for speeding- and they all do it.

  19. - Ghost - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 2:02 pm:

    “…danger increases as the speed difference between vehicles increases.” From a report about how lowering speed limits can increase accidents from the Society for Automotive Engineers.

    Also I duspute the hit 40% harder. F=MA, Force equals Mass times acceleration. The Mass of the truck remains constant. A speed increase from 55% to 65% represent an 18% increase in spped. therefor the force of the impact of 55 versus 65 is increased by 18%, not 40%. If they have to misrepresent such facts, then there overall premise is suspect. Statistically, we would need to know what causes most truck/auto fatalties before we can conclude that increasing the speed poses a greater danger then two different speeds.

    think of the folks racing to get around slower moving trucks, especially near entarnces and exits. I would wager two different speed limits poses a greater danger then uniformity.
    Anyway the 40% harder hitting

  20. - Son of a Gun - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 2:16 pm:

    Trucks need to go fast so they can get the hell out of Illinois. Blago has already taxed thousands of them to the point where they now are based in Indiana where taxes are lower and speeds are faster.

  21. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 2:19 pm:

    I have often been told I have an affliction similar to the gov’s. I can remember millions of bits of useless trivia that happened 20 years ago down to the tiniest detail, but I usually forget something I was supposed to get at the grocery store on the way home.

    People wonder why a guy who obviously has brilliant powers of recall got a “C” in Constitutional Law and cannot think well on his feet without a script. But I am telling you that some people are just wired that way.

  22. - Son of a Gun - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 2:26 pm:

    Maybe it’s a short circuit of that wiring

  23. - Skeeter - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 2:32 pm:

    The real problem isn’t the trucks.
    It is the cars.
    I routinely see cars cut right in front of trucks.
    Those people are idiots.
    Do they think that trucks can stop like a car?

    Raising the speed limit isn’t a good idea, but until people learn to drive around trucks, there will continue to be major accidents.
    And then the people who cut off the trucks actually blame the truck drivers!

  24. - cermak_rd - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 2:33 pm:

    I’ll be a contrarian and say that I’ve been surprised recently by passing a lot of trucks on I-80 and I-74. And I’m no speedster, I’m usually happy going the standard speed limit + 5. So I’ve seen a lot of trucks only going 60 on those expressways. Now this is usually after midnight so maybe they’re getting tired by then anyway, but I’ll have to say I’ve seen more speed law observant truck drivers in the past 6 months than I’ve seen speeders.

    Mind you, I still like the 55 mph law due to the fact that when loaded trucks hit passenger cars, that’s a lot of force.

  25. - Skeeter - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 2:38 pm:

    Cermak makes my point very well.

    There is an incredible amount of ignorance about trucks.

    The dangerous trucks are not the loaded trucks.

    The real dangerous trucks are the empty trucks (bobtails or deadheads). Without the load on the wheels, the tractor has a much more difficult time stopping.

    See an empty truck? Give the truck extra room.

  26. - Danny Boy - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 2:42 pm:

    I say trucks and cars going the same speed is better for all. It will speed up the left lane and make passing all that much easier and safer. Then again, I am a proponent of 75 mph in rural areas.

  27. - Son of a Gun - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 2:53 pm:

    Why do most states have a 65, 70 or 75 speed limit for both cars and trucks and everything goes well….then u get into Illinois and people don’t know how to drive?

    I believe this bill leaves the speed limit for BOTH cars and trucks at 55 MPH in the Chicago area. But neither go 55. If IDOT followed the practice of most states, they would set the speed limit at the 85th percentile. That means a more realistic speed limit is a lot closer to 65 than 55 since that’s the speed eveyone is moving anyway.

    Blago was wrong - where he held the news conference, the speed limit would remain at 55 for cars and trucks. There’s not a single foot of pavement in the Chicago area that would go to 65 because it’s still 55 for cars…and it would stay that way under the bill.

  28. - Highway Man - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 2:57 pm:

    Sorry Ghost, the 40% is right.

    Kinetic energy = 1/2 m v^2,
    If you plug 65 and then 55 into the equation then divide the difference by the value you obtain with the 55 there is a 39.6% increase - I’m sure the Gov had somone else do the math.

  29. - grand old partisan - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 2:58 pm:

    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that at 55 mph, a loaded tractor-trailer requires 63 more feet to come to a complete stop than the average family sedan. So, while some of you may think that trucks and cars going the same speed is safer for all, you won’t be thinking that when both you and the truck behind you have to make a sudden stop, and you get re-ended and pushed 50+ feet down the highway.

  30. - Muskrat - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 2:58 pm:

    Ghost, I assume they’re calculating the kinetic energy of impacts… which uses a factor of velocity squared (K[e]=1/2 M V-Squared)… 1.18 squared is 1.3924 = about 40% increase in k-e from 18% increase in speed.

  31. - Southern Ilinois Democrat - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 3:00 pm:

    I lost an immediate family member to one of those speeding trucks. If they had been going 55 the accident may have been avoidable. Rod is right on this one. If one life is saved and the family spared the pain then it is worth it!

  32. - Highway Man - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 3:07 pm:

    BTW - IDOT and ISP are putting a lot of work into lower the ‘K’ (fatalities) and ‘A’ (serious injury) type accidents. The new push came from the last FED transportation bill. Here is IDOT’s lastest data:

  33. - Anon - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 3:10 pm:

    Once again he’s manipulating the facts and his position. If he really cared about highway safety he wouldn’t have cut IDOT safety/traffic improvements 33% during FY 04-07. The result, from 2002 to 2005 fatalities on Illinois National Highway System roads increased 15%. Deaths across the region on the NHS were up 2% during the same period.

    Harp on speeding trucks all you want, but if you aren’t going to fund safety and traffic improvements, you’re nothing more than a…..

    Check out a press release on the subject:

  34. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 3:14 pm:

    Ghost has it exactly right. Speed isn’t the problem, it’s the speed differential. Having a 55 MPH speed limit for trucks is simply a vestige of the 70s movement to lower everyone’s speed to 55. It’s based on history not safety.

    Think about what happens when you have two trucks shlepping side by side at 55 in a 65 zone. People get frustrated, try to outmaneuver one another to get past the slow moving trucks. It’s not safe.

    Everyone’s speed should be raised to 70 outside of urban areas which is a safe limit most people would feel comfortable with. Perhaps people would finally drive a little more alert than they do now. Illinois drivers are amazingly distracted and languid. A bit more speed demands more concentration. If people paid a bit more attention on the roads, we’d all be better off.

  35. - anonymous - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 3:14 pm:

    55 for trucks is okay. I hate Interstate driving in Indiana and Iowa, where trucks have the same limit as cars. Trucks will use up both lanes very often in passing, but the time they take to pass another truck is too long, especially on uphill grades and car traffic gets backed up because of it. Plus, if a truck does need to hit the brakes fast, the momentum at 55 is nothing like it is at 65. I find truckers doing 65/70-plus, even in Illinois, to be quite nerve-wracking and dangerous.

  36. - Ghost - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 3:31 pm:

    oops, I stand corrected on the impact.

    I still stand on having two seperate speeds creating a greater Hazard. Especially considering the way people drive to get around or away from slower moving trucks.

  37. - VanillaMan - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 3:34 pm:

    1.) Trucks go over the speed limit, so if you raise the limit, they will go even faster.

    2.) One of the main reasons traffic deaths are down is because of the emergency responders that arrive with high tech equipment to remove drivers from crashed cars, stabilize them, and fly them to the nearest hospital in helicopters when necessary.

    So while it is true that cars are equipped with better designs and more safety features, crashes are as numerous as before but we get medical care to the scenes faster and more effectively.

    What we know about drivers is that we all speed up to a point where we feel we are in control. The more safety features in a vehicle, the faster drivers drive. While we know that Model T Fords were death traps in crashes, drivers of Model T Fords were also more careful to avoid crashes.

    As we enhanced cars with safety features, drivers have responded by driving faster. It is likely that we may be seeing just as many crashes as before, but fewer of them are fatal due to ambulatory care at the scene of crashes.

    So we are seeing a drop in auto deaths because of how well we treat victims of crashes, not because there are fewer.

    Bottom line: Keep the speed limit for trucks right were it is. While Blagojevich is on the right side of this issue, as usual he is hamming it up to look as though he is the guy preventing traffic deaths, which is obviously grandstanding.

  38. - Greg - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 3:51 pm:

    I never like the “if one life saved…” argument. For better or worse, we make cost/benefit choices that synthetically put a value on life and safety. If safety were all that mattered, we would all drive BMW 7 series, and the speed limit would be 35. We’d also ban driving after midnight.

    55/65 just happens to be the base line. For all I know, these limits may be perfectly rational. But I’d like a better cost/benefit analysis than “faster is more dangerous.”. Price the risk.

  39. - Mr. W.T. Rush - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 3:52 pm:

    Sssssuper —BlunderBoyBlaggo is the guy who recently told St. Louis Cardinal Broadcaster Mike Shannon that he knows about baseball than government — on the air!
    of course his performance cconfirms it.

  40. - VanillaMan - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 3:58 pm:

    One of the things I liked about Germany was the fact that trucks were only allowed to be on the highways between 7PM to 7AM. After that time, semis were parked and vans were moving goods.

    I think semis were only allowed in the far right lane too, but it could be that trucks always seemed to be in the far right lane as we passed them during our night trips.

    It makes a lot of sense. Yes, Germany is a small country, but limiting semi trucks during day hours on the interstates might be something to consider, isn’t it?

  41. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 4:36 pm:

    Van Man,

    It would never fly in IL, but limiting trucks to 7 PM-7 AM on the Chicago expressways would do wonders for traffic congestion. A 65′ trailer with a tractor combo takes up about 5x the road real estate of the average mid-size passenger car. Toll congestion pricing on the now-free expressways is just a little more likely than the first proposition (again, as likely as seeing a winged pig or a governor residing in Springfield) but would largely achieve the same goals.

  42. - Techboy - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 5:26 pm:

    Ghost, WRONG!
    No, you might have good poli sci grades but you flunk physics,
    we’re talking KINETIC energy here, kinetic energy increases with the SQUARE of the speed, so if you double the speed of a truck, you get FOUR times the kinetic energy, thus it takes four times as far to stop. Kinetic energy equation is why you can drop a simple piece of iron from orbit and have it hit with the force of an atom bomb.

    The real secret the ISP is not telling is most of the truck accidents are from too-tired drivers falling asleep at the wheel. The poor rookie trooper they showed in the events today, whos car got turned to origami, was hit by a truck that should have had plenty of time to avoid a hit, but the driver was dozing. The feds keep trying to appease the trucking industry by increasing driver hours and cutting back mandatory rest priods.

  43. - Gregor - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 5:29 pm:

    The governor and ISP are right about keeping the truck speeds lower. You can’t argue with Newton or bribe him. That ten mile per hour difference makes a world of difference. While politically inexpedient, the next step in safety would be to limit the CARS to the TRUCK’s speed on majot highways. But nobody’s going to go for that unless the feds mandate it. Carter got more grief over that than he did over Iran.

  44. - Old Road Trooper - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 5:59 pm:

    I’ve been a road trooper patrolling interstates for more almost 20 years. I don’t have any statistics at my fingertips, just my observations of traffic and traffic crashes. My perspective may be different than most because I am often stationary on the interstate when most aren’t. Trucks are generally already going 65 most of the time. They don’t get cited because of CB radios and because most troops probably see the logic of the speed differential argument even if they don’t agree with it. Speed doe not cause crashes, it increases their severity. Speed increases stopping distance, no matter what math you use. A Truck drivers biggest enemy, (and the biggest cause of crashes), in my opinion, is inattentiveness and fatigue. You would not believe what these guys are doing going down the road. I am 100% opposed to increasing the speed limit for trucks for the reasons above and this one: Truck drivers drive *at least* the speed limit in all but the worst driving conditions. I am talking mostly about ice and snow, but also fog. Truck drivers are famous for saying “I can keep it straight” when driving in snow. They never stop to think what happens when they have to brake or take evasive actions under those conditions. When they approach a crash scene, they seem surprised by it, even though they have been hearing about it on the CB for the prior 20 miles. They brake and wallah- the driver that can “keep it straight” jack knifes his trailer and puts 80,000# sideways down the interstate toward yours truly who is on the shoulder of the road caring for crash victims, towing cars and investigating the crash. I can’t tell you how many times that scenario plays out for me every winter. Add to that the influx of drivers from parts of the country who rarely drive on snow and ice, and I can only say that I want them going as slow as possible.

  45. - plutocrat03 - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 6:31 pm:

    Hey guys, lets leave the safety stuff out of the hand of the pols. I don’y want the government do decide what my Dr wants to do when he treats me for a problem.

    I am familiar with traffic safety research and it does not support the increase of speed for trucks. Thanks to “highway Man” for correcting the misconception about force vs energy.

    Remember that these trucks cannot stop like a car, maneuver like a car or accelerate like a car. It is important to have a speed differential because a car can leagally pass the, rather than be sentenced to follow them forever.

    Don’t forget that the faster you go, the less time you have to react to a changing situation on the road.

    So, keep the pols out of meddling in highway rules. You have hundreds of engineers working for the stat and thousand at the federal level. Ask them, not the trucking companies.

  46. - NoGiftsPlease - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 6:46 pm:

    The speed limit was originally reduced to 55 mph because of the fuel crisis. The safety impacts of doing that were secondary — but it was observed that is was also safer for autos to travel 55 instead of 65. Speed differentials are also dangerous, don’t you remember your drivers ed teacher telling you to “drive with traffic?” Better than increasing truck speed limits, reduce auto drivers back to 55 mph increasing gas mileage on all those cars and eliminating the speed difference between trucks and cars. It was a fuel saver then and still will be now. Safer too.

  47. - South of I 80 - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 8:27 pm:

    When is the last time you seen a truck going only 55? almost anywhere? This is just a joke- ment to make people who have no clue feel good!

  48. - North of I-80 - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 10:45 pm:

    The REAL reasons fatality death rates going down:

    Every year that goes by, older junky unsafe cars come off the roads and much safer, newer, multi-curtain airbag cars take their place; suspension, anti-lock braking and tire technologies improve what’s on the roads every year;

    The seat belt law change [going from secondary enforcement to primary] took compliance from mid-70% to 90% on IL highways; inner cities went from 40% to 80+%;

    Price of gas last 4-5 years [yes, including all of the taxes] has been climbing so that young/inexperienced drivers are not as inclined to be quite as stupid out there as in years past;

    IDOT has been making IL roads safer: replacing traffic lights with brighter LEDs; addressing problem areas with specific solutions [eg. stringing heavy cables between divided highway lanes to reduce head-on crashes; using crash reports to install traffic control lights];

    Health care is the best in the world… we get more seriously injured crash victims flown to better trauma centers today than we did years ago… inside the Golden hour saves lives;

    These things were happening without concern for who warmed the Governor’s chair(s). If there was a serious attempt to reduce fatality rates in IL; the Governor would 1) increase the number of State Police patrolling the roads by taking it back up to mid-1980’s levels and 2) double or triple the $$$ of uniform traffic citation fines [tickets]. IF speeders in IL paid what it costs in WI or CA or NY, courts would be in better financial shape AND it should reduce crash rates.

    PS. A better number to look at is number of injury AND fatal crashes… more people are surviving crashes today that would have died years ago…. but are they crashing their cars as often??

    PSS To reduce the total number of crashes, open up deer hunting to get these things off the roads. Close to 1/3rd of all IL crashes are animal [usually deer].

  49. - PJ - Friday, Sep 28, 07 @ 11:33 pm:

    How about lowering car speed limits back to 55? It really did save gas and would make the speeds equal again. It used to take days to go 100 miles by wagon train. I’m being totally serious here. I know you have to draw a line somewhere (20 mph would save a ton of lives), but 55 really wasn’t that bad when that was the law. It’s also less stressful on the nerves to drive at a lower speed, and you’re more refreshed when you arrive. Just try it sometime. (I recently got almost 40 mph in my Hond Civic on a trip from TN by driving 55 mph).

  50. - Oktoberfest - Saturday, Sep 29, 07 @ 7:34 am:

    People have to stop comparing US transit, mass and otherwise, to France, Germany, etc.

    We built them up better than they were before the war.

  51. - Boone Logan Square - Saturday, Sep 29, 07 @ 7:54 am:

    Aside from being sound public policy, it makes good political sense for an Illinois governor to maximize truck safety. Whatever Rod’s motives, he’s doing the right thing on this issue.

  52. - Bemac - Saturday, Sep 29, 07 @ 8:21 am:

    To address the dangers of closing speeds: stay to the right unless passing. Even if there are three lanes.

  53. - Soon to Retire - Saturday, Sep 29, 07 @ 9:08 pm:

    Rich. Find out how many more crashes Ill is having, the decrease in deaths is mostly because of better medical care , safer cars and faster medical response , we didn’t have the number of cells phones 15 years ago that we have today as such Police get the calls faster.. Speeds are way up in Ill because we have half as many troopers doing patrols today as 20 years ago. The numbers are down by about 200 to 300 but that is not the whole story. We took 100 troopers away to work the Riverboats, We have about doubled the number of Troopers who work only Motorcarrier safety(big trucks). This takes the cost off the taxpayer because the Feds pay the truck troops and the Casinos pay the Riverboat Troops. We will have about 150 to 200 Troopers retire by end of 2008 and no new classes are set. I predict an increase in deaths next year.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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