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State Lawmakers Propose Raising Speed Limit
Drivers in Illinois might soon be able to pick up the pace. Lawmakers are considering raising the speed limit to 70 miles per hour on the state's highways.
The current speed limit on I-55 and other major interstates in Illinois is 65 miles per hour. Drivers are also capped at traveling 65 miles per hour on divided four-lane highways.
But that's not the case elsewhere. And that's why a group of lawmakers want to change it.
Sen. Chapin Rose is one of the lawmakers backing the proposal.
He said the speed limit is 70 in surrounding states.
And he said that presents both an engineering and a safety issue.
"The problem is the differential," Rose said. "The differential of the speed of vehicles traveling on the road. When you have one vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed and one traveling at an artificially low rate of speed set by a speed limit. If that slower vehicle stops, the other vehicle will hit it from behind. It's a huge issue."
The changes only apply to rural interstates, or those stretches of road outside Chicago and St. Louis.
The proposal gives Cook County, Madison County and a handful of others surrounding the two metropolitan areas the authority to set a speed limit lower than 70 miles per hour on their roads.
Sixty-five miles per hour would remain the speed limit for other highways that have at least four lanes of traffic.
The cap is 55 miles per hour on all other highways and roads outside of Chicago.
The bill also allows IDOT to change the speed limits up to 70 miles per hour.
ABC Newschannel 20 attempted to reach Illinois State Police for their opinion on the bill, but they did not respond.
According to the agency's website, the number of drivers traveling faster than 65 miles per hour on the interstates is up.
Officers say the result is a greater chance of collision due to a difference in speeds, and a greater risk of death in crashes.