Quinn vetoes 70 mph speed limit on tollways in suburbs

Gov. Pat Quinn Tuesday put the brakes on legislation that would have raised speed limits on suburban tollways to 70 mph.

The governor last year signed a law to raise speed limits on downstate interstates, but urban areas were excluded.

State Sen. Jim Oberweis, a Sugar Grove Republican, tried to follow up this year with a speed increase for the Chicago area, but Quinn vetoed it. The plan would have let suburban county leaders lower the limit below 70 mph if they chose.

“(T)he convenience of increased speeds for drivers on Illinois tollways does not outweigh the safety risks to children, families, and our dedicated public servants,” Quinn wrote in his veto message.

The proposal enjoyed wide support among state lawmakers, and enough approved that they could override Quinn's veto after the November election if they want to. Oberweis says he “of course” will shoot for an override.

When pushing for the change, the dairy magnate has argued the speed limit law is already widely ignored.

“Either the law should be enforced if it's a good law or changed if it's a bad law,” he said.

Oberweis said he interpreted his legislation that raised downstate speed limits last year as applying to the suburbs, too. He suggested Quinn may have vetoed this year's proposal because the Republican is running for U.S. Senate. Oberweis is challenging Sen. Dick Durbin and will appear on ballots right next to Quinn's race for governor against Republican Bruce Rauner.

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