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Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin... they're finally taking legislative steps to let us drive faster.
Under new legislation in Michigan (proposed by Sen. Rick Jones) the move could potentially raise the speed limit on some local freeways from 55 and 70 mph to 75, or even 80 mph in the Upper Peninsula. Jones said the move would protect motorists from being unnecessarily ticketed by corrupt municipalities that use speed traps to generate local revenue.
CBS Detroit surveyed Michigan residents and found that 70 percent support raising the speed limits, and 30% oppose.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune reports that drivers tooling through the Illinois countryside will be able to go a little faster too... Gov. Pat Quinn overcame safety concerns and approved legislation last week that will raise the speed limit on rural interstates to 70 mph.
The speed limit in Illinois is 55 mph in metropolitan areas and 65 on rural highways. But on Jan. 1, Illinois will become the 37th state to approve limits of 70 mph or higher.
After initially expressing safety concerns, Quinn decided to sign the measure after studying the issue over the summer, an aide said. Ultimately, Quinn decided there were enough protections in the bill, such as allowing heavily populated counties to opt out and lowering the threshold that drivers could be charged with excessive speeding, defined as driving at least 31 mph over the posted limit. The new law lowers that threshold to 26 mph over the limit.
Quinn also didn't want Illinois to fall behind other states with faster speed limits, fearing it could interfere with commerce.
Just a day after Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill raising the speed limit on rural highways in his state to 70 mph, Rep. Paul Tittl, R-Manitowoc, called for the same thing in Wisconsin.
The bill would have to pass the Senate and Assembly, and be signed by Gov. Scott Walker, before taking effect.
Of course, by setting the maximum to 70, it makes interstate travel less confusing for the entire region. Indiana led the way back in 2005, when the Hoosier State increased its limit from 65 MPH to 70 MPH in areas with less than 50,000 population.