Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law Monday raising the speed limit on rural four-lane highways from 65 miles an hour to 70 miles an hour, bringing Illinois up to speed with 36 other states.
“This limited five miles-per-hour increase will bring Illinois’ rural interstate speed limits in line with our neighbors and the majority of states across America, while preventing an increase in excessive speeding,” Quinn said in a statement. “I encourage all motorists to continue to respect our traffic laws, avoid distractions and exercise common sense behind the wheel to protect the safety of themselves and others.”
The bill, which takes effect Jan. 1, comes with two caveats. The speed at which motorists may be charged with excessive speeding won’t change. It will still be 86 miles an hour. Motorists charged with excessive speeding can be fined up to $1,000, and have their licenses revoked for a year.
The bill also offers an exemption for the state’s eight urbanized counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair and Will. Those counties can pass an ordinance to keep their speed limits at 65.