On January 1st, 2014, hundreds of new laws went into effect in the state of Illinois. Issues addressed by the new laws taking effect cover a multitude of topics, ranging from medical marijuana and laws affecting minors to traffic regulations. One such law includes a change in the speed limit on interstate roads in the state of Illinois.
As reported by the Washington Times Reporter, this year, the speed limit on interstate highways in Illinois will increase to 70 miles per hour from the previous speed limit of 65 miles per hour. Now Illinois is among the 35 states that has set the interstate speed limit at 70 miles per hour or higher.
Even though the speed limit increase is set to take effect, the Illinois Department of Transportation said the new highway signs posting the change are not expected to be placed along roadways until later this month. That department will be tasked with producing and installing the new speed limit signs.
Lawmakers say the change in the interstate speed limit is meant to reflect the fact that a many Illinois drivers have already been driving at increased speeds on the applicable roadways. Opponents of the new law, including Illinois State Police and a representative from the Illinois Department of Transportation, argued against it going into effect, saying that allowing motorists to drive legally at increased speeds will result in more accidents and likely more deaths caused by car accidents.
It is important to note that the law allows counties with large populations to opt out of changing the limits. Those counties that are considered heavily populated include Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Will, Madison, and St. Clair counties. To date, none of the counties have opted out of increasing the speed limit on the portions of the interstate highways within their borders.
Many drivers may consider this change good news – higher speed limits mean they can get where they are going faster without risking getting a traffic ticket. However, the law imposes new consequences for speeding in light of the increase in the speed limit. Now, drivers who are caught by police officers traveling at a rate equivalent to 26 miles per hour over the posted speed limit will be charged with a misdemeanor. Previously, traveling at that rate over the posted speed was considered a petty offense, and the threshold for the offense being charged as a misdemeanor was 31 miles per hour over.If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident on the roadways of Illinois where speed was a factor, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices, LLC have experience in personal injury and car accident cases and can advise you of your rights. Contact us today.
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