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Speeds Up, Fatalities Down

Wed, 11 Jun 2014 10:53:53 CDT

An engineer with I-DOT says driving fatalities since the speed limit increase are down, compared to last year. Six months after state law increased interstate highway speeds from 65 to 70 miles per hour, transportation officials say there have been fewer fatalities on the road. Opponents of the bill said the increase in speed would lead to an increase in accidents. Priscilla Tobias is a state safety engineer with the Illinois Department of Transportation. She says while numbers are down, it's hard to discern whether the number is a trend. As of Monday, Tobias says there've been 341 vehicle fatalities this year:

"74 fewer fatalities than last year. But, you know, it's still too early for us to get any crash data in as far as with the speed related type of things. And, again, with the winter the way it was, that has a bearing on things too."

Tobias says the law that increased the speed limit is still in it's infancy, and there's still not enough information to see whether the decline is an anomaly. The 70 mile-an-hour speed limit brings Illinois in line with its neighbors in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Missouri.

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