Truckers are pushing state legislators to allow semis to travel 65 m.p.h. on Illinois’ rural highways, but Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Monday that more drivers and passengers would die on Illinois’ interstates if the law is enacted. This is the second year in a row the trucking industry has pushed for the law change, which would allow trucks to go 65 mph–the same speed as cars–in certain rural portions of the state. Truckers say the law would allow them to transport goods more quickly and also avoid hazards created by the current law that mandates trucks can drive only 55 m.p.h. while cars can travel 10 m.p.h. faster.
But the governor has blocked the measures, saying changing the law would be dangerous, reports the Chicago Tribune. “Raising the speed limit for trucks from 55 m.p.h. to 65 m.p.h. means that more people will lose their lives on Illinois highways,” Blagojevich said in a news conference at the state police regional headquarters in Des Plaines. “Trucks are undeniably indispensable to commerce. We need them to move goods to and from places. But we need them to do it safely.” To bolster his argument, Blagojevich said 70 additional fatalities were reported the year after Missouri raised its speed limits for trucks in 1995.