State Legislature Debates Truck Speed Limits

State Legislature Debates Truck Speed Limits
By: Carly O'Keefe

ILLINOIS - As semi-trucks travel the highways and interstates they cross many states, but some say a trip through Illinois feels like it takes forever.
"It's very frustrating when you travel across the three-quarters of the country at 70 mph and you come to Illinois and it's 55," said truck driver David Lawlor of Maryland.
The Illinois House of Representatives is set to review Senate Bill 540 October 10th.  The bill calls for an increase in truck speed limits to 65 miles per hour on some Illinois highways.
Governor Rod Blagojevich vetoed the bill in August saying, "Safety is a top priority for Illinois' roads and this bill compromises safety by allowing trucks to travel at higher speeds.  I remain opposed to increasing the speed limit to 65 miles per hour for large trucks."
The Senate overrode the governor's veto Tuesday.  Should the House override his veto as well, semi trucks will be cruising at 65 right next to their smaller four-wheeled counterparts.
Illinois State Police argue allowing trucks to legally travel at 65 mph will put the motoring public in unnecessary danger.
"Many times it's not the truck driver's fault that there's a crash, but when they do crash with a vehicle that size, the faster they go, the more damage there's going to be.  We're trying to reduce fatalities across the board, and we don't feel this is a really good idea," said Illinois State Police Captain Michael Irwin of District #13.
If the House finds enough votes to override the governor's veto, the new speed limit goes into effect January 1, 2008.