Illinois considers uniform speed limits

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Truckers in Illinois are being encouraged to help give a final push to a law that would eliminate split speeds for heavy trucks across most of the state.

A recent report from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s official publication Land Line, says split speed limits could be in their final days.

The Illinois Senate voted 40-8 on May 18, to advance to the governor’s desk a House-approved bill that would allow vehicles weighing more than 8,000 pounds to travel 65 mph on highways outside Chicago.

The bill – HB3956 – would exempt the five surrounding “collar” counties from the rule change. The change would take effect Jan. 1, 2010. Illinois law now requires large vehicles to travel 10 mph below the 65 mph speed limit for other vehicles on rural interstates.

“It might be premature to declare success now, but victory could be close at hand,” said Jim Johnston, president of OOIDA. “Truckers need to contact Gov. Quinn’s office and let him know of their support.”

In an effort to push the bill home, OOIDA has issued multiple Calls to Action on the matter. Truckers in the state have tirelessly pressed their lawmakers to endorse the legislation.

After years of failed attempts to have former Gov. Rod Blagojevich sign legislation into law to change the speed rule, OOIDA and other trucking industry officials are optimistic the proposal has a better chance now of becoming law.

How good that chance is remains uncertain, although most Illinois truckers think Gov. Quinn will sign the bill. A spokesperson for Quinn told Land Line that the governor’s office has not taken a position on the issue.

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