Bill could raise interstate speed limits to 75, country roads to 60

The same state senator responsible for the law that raised the speed limit on interstates to 70 is now looking to raise it to 75.

State Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, says speed limits should be set to the natural flow of traffic.

“The safest level to set speed limits is called the 85th percentile level, where 85 percent of traffic is moving at that speed or less,” he said.

The bill he’s sponsoring would raise the speed limit on most interstates outside of Chicago to 75 as well as up the limit to 60 on other roads with fewer than 4 lanes. That includes country roads.

Opponents of higher speed limits say they only cause more serious crashes. Oberweis says the real culprits are distracted driving and cars going widely different speeds on the same road.

“It’s not the absolute speed level that determines the risk level, it’s the variation of speed,” he said. “That’s more likely to cause an accident than everybody driving 75.”

Oberweis also noted that the consistent breaking of speed laws puts other laws in a bad light.

“It’s a bad idea to have laws out there that are widely disregarded by people,” he said. “Disregarding a law consistently by a lot of people tends to breed disrespect for other laws.”

A spokesperson from the Illinois Department of Transportation said they take no position on the speed limit change.

Oberweis is the chairman of Oberweis Dairy in Aurora. He says he drives the speed limit.

–Illinois News Network

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