As of January 1, 2014, Illinois drivers can now legally drive up to 70 miles per hour on portions of some highways including I-280, I-74, I-80 and I-88. IDOT has been delayed in the installation of new speed limit signs due to the cold weather and unexpected snowfall totals.
According to the Illinois State Police, drivers cannot start driving at 70mph until signs are posted. The new law allows for faster speeds on four-lane divided highways in rural areas. Driving at higher speeds requires your full concentration, especially on highways that serve as major trucking routes. Semi-tractor trailer trucks require at least 100 yards to come to a complete stop when traveling at only 55mph.
In the most recently released National Traffic Highway Safety Administration Traffic Safety Facts report, Illinois saw a 1% decrease in traffic fatalities from 2010 to 2011. Males, between the ages of 16-24, comprise the largest group of speeding drivers involved in fatal car crashes. Across the United States, speeding is a major factor in over 30% of all fatal car crashes.
Speeding on highways is widespread. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety 2012 report, almost 50% of the drivers surveyed say they have driven at least 15 mph over the speed limit on a highway; one in four claimed that they considered it acceptable to do so.
Remember, Illinois has a Basic Speed Law that forbids drivers from going faster than is reasonable and proper based on road conditions, traffic and weather, no matter the posted speed limit. Exercise your proper judgment at all times when driving.