Opponents warned that raising the speed limit would result in more accidents. But the bill's sponsor, Democratic Representative Jerry Costello, from Smithton, says more accidents happen because of vehicles traveling at different speeds, not because of higher speeds.
"If cars are driving at 70 miles-an-hour on average, someone who's doing 60 has a higher propensity of being in an accident than someone who's doing 80. So actually the slower-moving traffic causes most of the accidents."
Costello says 34 states have a top speed limit of 70 or higher. Cook and the collar counties would be allowed to opt-out of the higher speed limit.
The measure passed on a vote of 85 to 30. It's already passed the Senate, so it now goes to Governor Pat Quinn. A spokeswoman would only say Quinn will "carefully review the bill."