A 70-mph speed limit in Illinois would make driving more dangerous, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. State lawmakers are considering raising the speed limit to 70 on interstate highways where the limit is now 65. IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider says that’s a bad idea, since Illinois is a relatively safe state for highway travel.
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“Right now, Illinois has the seventh-lowest fatality rate per vehicle mile travelled than any other state. We’re seventh lowest. Of the 43 states that have a higher vehicle fatality rate, 70 percent of them have speed limits at 70 mph or higher on their rural interstates,” she said. The measure, promoted by its sponsor as good for business, passed the Illinois Senate last month by a vote of 41-6 and now goes to the House. It allows the six counties in the Chicago are and two counties in the Metro East area to opt out if they wish. The governor is undecided on it, but Schneider says she’s working the safety angle with him. The speed limit in Wisconsin is 65, but it’s 70 in all other states adjacent to Illinois.