AURORA, Ill.—(ENEWSPF)–May 5 2011 – AAA urges Illinois legislators to vote no on SB 1913, which allows large tractor-trailer trucks to travel on all four-lane highways outside Chicagoland at 65 mph, as opposed to the current 55 mph speed limit. The bill has already passed through the Illinois Senate and awaits a full vote by the Illinois House.
“The Illinois legislature should not ignore the inherent danger of this bill,” said Brad Roeber, president of AAA Chicago. “The number of fatal crashes involving large trucks is on the rise in Illinois, and motorists who are involved in crashes with large tractor-trailer trucks at high speeds don’t stand much of a chance.”
The data on large truck crashes are clear. In 2010 the speed limit for large tractor-trailer trucks was raised to 65 mph on interstates outside Chicagoland. The Illinois Department of Transportation reports there was a 46 percent increase in fatal crashes involving large trucks from 2010 over 2009, which saw the lowest number of large truck fatalities on record for Illinois.
The primary finding on this subject cannot be overlooked: large tractor-trailer trucks take longer to brake and to maneuver in emergency situations. At 55 mph, a truck will travel 60 feet before the driver ever applies the brakes, according to the National Safety Council. Furthermore, a combination truck traveling at 55 mph with a full load under ideal conditions will travel a total of 335 feet before coming to a complete stop.
“The mountain of evidence against this legislation does not bode well for the safety of Illinois roadway users,” said Roeber. “We urge all drivers to fully understand the gravity of this legislation and use extreme caution on our roadways.”
For 100 years, AAA has represented the interests of the nation’s motorists and served as an advocate for various traffic safety and travel related issues. AAA Chicago has served that role in Illinois since its founding in 1906.