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Oberweis seeks veto override for speed-limit bill

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014 12:09 a.m. CDT

State Sen. Jim Oberweis, R–Sugar Grove, said he will seek an override this fall of a speed-limit bill he sponsored that was vetoed by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Aug. 26.

Quinn vetoed Senate Bill 2015, which would have raised the speed limit on Illinois tollways to 70 miles per hour. He cited studies from the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority that indicate motorists already are driving above the speed limit on the tollways.

Quinn also referenced his veto of Senate Bill 930, which increases the speed limit for large trucks on interstate highways.

“As with Senate Bill 930, the convenience of increased speeds for drivers on Illinois tollways does not outweigh the safety risks to children, families and our dedicated public servants.”

Given the widespread support the bill received earlier this year, Oberweis appears likely to have more than enough votes to override Quinn’s veto during Illinois legislators’ fall session. Senate Bill 2015 was passed by a 111-4 vote of the House of Representatives on May 29 and by a 48-6 vote of the Senate on May 21.

“He used to say to sell ‘Let the will of the people be the law of the land,’ ” Oberweis said of Quinn in a phone interview on Tuesday. “In this case, he didn’t want to let the will of the people be the law.”

Oberweis said many academic studies indicate it’s not speed that kills, but variation of speed that kills between motorists. A higher speed limit would reduce those speed variations in traffic and those that attempt to weave past slower drivers.

Oberweis also said people are more likely to get into an accident on a two-lane county highway than a toll highway where traffic is generally separated by concrete barriers. A higher speed limit would encourage more people to use the toll highways, thus adding revenue to the tollway system, as well, Oberweis said.

“Many senators and representatives support this bill,” Oberweis said. “It’s clearly a bipartisan effort.”

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