Abels & Annes

Gov. Quinn Increases Speed Limit – Motorists Worry about Speed-Related Trucking Accidents in Illinois

Governor Pat Quinn recently signed several bills to regulate trucking in the state. One of these bills increased the speed limit for tractor-trailers from 55 mph to 65 mph on four-lane divided highways that are not interstates. Previous legislation increased speed limits to 65 mph on interstate highways outside of Cook County and many other northern counties.
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Our Chicago trucking accident attorneys believe that this is risky move as the perceived benefits of the increased limit could be outweighed by the risk of additional accidents.

A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concluded that there were approximately 12,545 deaths because of car and truck accidents in Chicago that were caused by rising speed limits in the U.S. between 1995 and 2005.

Congress established a national speed limit of 55 mph back in the 1970s. It was effective at getting states to participate by threatening to withhold funds from states that didn’t comply. The requirement was loosened for rural interstates in 1987 and then it was completely repealed in 1995.

A motorist that experiences an accident with a semi-truck or a tractor-trailer may have the legal right to compensation for their losses and injuries from either the driver of the truck or the business that employs the trucker. If a person is killed in one of these accidents, his or her survivors may have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim.

With the list of simplified laws for truckers and trucking companies that Gov. Quinn recently signed, the Governor aims to clarify existing Illinois truck laws, improve trucking operations and allow for uniform speed limits on secondary highways.

Senate Bill 1644 will be used to standardize gross weight regulations for trucks. There was some prior confusion after the legislation allowed standard 80,000-pound trucks onto local Illinois roads. The bill also allows a 400-pound weight exemption for trucks fitted with auxiliary power units.

House Bill 2836 clarifies truck length limits. This limit depends on the type of equipment that is being pulled by a truck.

Senate Bill 1913 will give the state a unified speed limit of 65 mph on four-lane highways outside of the Chicago area.

The Mid-West Truckers Association thanked Quinn for signing the legislation. The organization believes that the new laws will make compliance easier. The laws are the result of a year’s worth of work between the industry, Illinois State Police and the Illinois Department of Transportation.

“We want to make sure we have simple, straightforward laws that can be complied with and can be enforced in a proper way,” Quinn said. He added that the changes will help create uniform rules for trucks, as well as help reduce emissions.


If you have been injured in a car or truck accident, call the accident lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free consultation. Call (866) 99-ABELS.

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Chicago truck driver sentenced for causing accident with fatalities, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, October 21, 2010

Chicago truck accident attorney reaches settlements in 2 cases , Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 18, 2011