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January 2, 2014 10:40 AM, EST

Illinois Increases Speed Limit to 70 MPH

Most freeways in Illinois have a new maximum speed limit of 70 mph as of Jan. 1, the Illinois Department of Transportation reports.

The new law raised the state’s limit from 65 mph. Most of the areas where the limit changed are outside of the Chicago metropolitan area, according to an IDOT map.

“Under the new law, large trucks can continue to travel at the same posted speed limit as automobiles except in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties, where the statutes restrict them to a maximum of 55 mph or the posted speed, whichever is less,” IDOT spokeswoman Paris Ervin said.

New speed limits are in effect on about 87% of interstate highways and 98% percent of rural freeways. The speed limit also will increase to 70 mph on about 28% the Illinois Tollway’s 286-mile system, IDOT reports.

The law also lowers the threshold at which drivers may be cited for excessive speeding. The new law lowered the threshold for penalties from 31 mph over the limit to 26 mph, according to IDOT.

About 900 new road signs will be installed along highways between Jan. 2 and Jan. 17 at a cost of $200,000. About 70 new signs will be posted on the Illinois Tollway between Jan. 7 and Jan. 14 at a cost of $18,000.