* From the new speed limit law, which Gov. Pat Quinn signed yesterday…
(d-1) Unless some other speed restriction is established under this Chapter, the maximum speed limit outside an urban district for any vehicle is
(1) 70 miles per hour on any interstate highway as defined by Section 1-133.1 of this Code;
(2) 65 miles per hour for all or part of highways that are designated by the Department, have at least 4 lanes of traffic, and have a separation between the roadways moving in opposite directions; and
(3) 55 miles per hour for all other highways, roads, and streets. The counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair, and Will may adopt ordinances setting a maximum speed limit on highways, roads, and streets that is lower than the limits established by this Section. […]
1.5. 70 miles per hour upon any interstate highway as defined by Section 1-133.1 of this Code outside the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will;
* From Gov. Quinn’s press release…
Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law to increase the speed limit from 65 to 70 miles-per-hour (mph) on rural four-lane highways, and to lower the limit by five mph for excessive speeding. The law will bring Illinois’ speed limit in line with 36 other states that have speed limits of 70 mph or higher on some portion of their roadways, including other large states such as California, Florida, Texas and Ohio, and neighboring states such as Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa and Michigan. The bill passed with significant bipartisan support in both chambers.
“This limited five miles-per-hour increase will bring Illinois’ rural interstate speed limits in line with our neighbors and the majority of states across America, while preventing an increase in excessive speeding,” Governor Quinn said. “I encourage all motorists to continue to respect our traffic laws, avoid distractions and exercise common sense behind the wheel to protect the safety of themselves and others.”
Sponsored by State Senator Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) and State Representative Jerry Costello Jr. (D-Smithton), Senate Bill 2356 increases the maximum speed limit from 65 to 70 mph on four-lane divided highways outside of urban areas. The law allows Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair and Will Counties to opt-out by adopting an ordinance that sets a lower maximum speed limit, empowering counties to make adjustments based on their own local needs.
* Sen. Jim Oberweis says that’s not so…
“The governor’s press release misstated the facts,” said state Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove), the bill’s chief Senate sponsor, who insisted it was his intent for the higher speed limit to apply to even clogged arteries in Chicago and suburbia.
“The bill moves the speed limit to 70 mph for all interstates and tollways in Illinois,” Oberweis said, with an aide to Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) backing up Oberweis’ interpretation.
* OK, despite the somewhat confusing county exemptions, the statute sets the new 70 mph speed limit for “any interstate highway as defined by Section 1-133.1 of this Code.” Here’s Section 1-133.1…
625 ILCS 5/1-133.1) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 1-133.1)
Sec. 1-133.1. Interstate highway. Any highway which is now, or shall hereafter be, a part of the national system of interstate and defense highways within this State.
But then there’s the line about county exemptions from 1-133.1’s definition of what an interstate highway is, so perhaps the governor is correct.
“Our interpretation is that this law does not impact our county highway system — 55 remains the maximum speed limit along the county’s roadways,” said Johnna Kelly, a spokeswoman for the DuPage County Board.
“The county doesn’t have jurisdiction over the tollway and IDOT roads,” she said.
A top Will County official echoed those sentiments.
“I think there’s a little confusion,” said Anastasia Tuskey, a spokeswoman for Will County Executive Lawrence M. Walsh. “Our county highway director said we can’t regulate any state highway speeds.”
Cleanup bill, perhaps?