An overwhelming majority of Illinois lawmakers pass legislation increasing the maximum speed limit on interstate highways from 65 mph to 70 mph. Supporters of the bill say it'll be good for business, but some Rockford area trucking companies think differently.
Truckers rely on roadways to get the job done. Some workers say increasing also increases costs.
"What's happening in the last few years in the transportation industry is we're going the other direction. You would think that we'd want to go 70, well we don't want to go 70, we're under the new CSA regulations so it's all about driver safety and it's all about saving money, saving fuel. Once you get over 70 then you're going to eat up 5% to 7% of your fuel." -says Silver Arrow Express President Jeff Wilmarth.
Silver Arrow Express employees monitor their trucks on laptops. Drivers have a maximum speed of about 70 mph and they can't go higher than that.
"In our industry, for the pay levels for the driver, there's more of a bonus incentive for getting the best fuel economy in their truck." -Wilmarth adds.
Meiborg Brothers Trucking owners have safety concerns when it comes to raising the speed limit, but Operations Manager Zach Meiborg says if most people want to drive 70 mph, government shouldn't get in the way.
"I agree with opponents of the bill who say that the faster one travels, the more likely an accident will occur, but I also agree that if we all wore helmets we'd all be safer in our cars. I'm not going to do that." -Meiborg explains.
The bill now goes to Governor Pat Quinn's desk. He hasn't said whether or not he'll sign it. Illinois Department of Transportation representatives are against raising the limit.
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