On Monday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill that will increase the speed limit on rural interstates from 65 to 70 miles per hour.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the bill was sponsored by State Senator Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) and State Representative Jerry Costello Jr. (D-Smithton),

Senate Bill 2356 increases the maximum speed limit from 65 to 70 mph on four-lane divided highways in rural areas.

The Illinois Department of Transportation opposed the increase, but Governor Quinn said that the increase will put the state more in line with surrounding states.

“This limited 5 miles-per-hour increase will bring Illinois’ rural interstate speed limits in line with our neighbors’ and the majority of states across America, while preventing an increase in excessive speeding,” Quinn said in a statement.

The law includes additional provisions which will impose stiffer penalties for speeders.  “Currently, the threshold for penalties is 31 mph over the limit. The new law lowers that threshold to 26 mph over the limit to increase safety on Illinois roads,” the press release states.

The bill will also allow lower speed limits to be set in other areas.

Under the bill, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties will be allowed to keep their maximum speed limit under 70 miles per hour.

“The law allows Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair and Will Counties to opt-out by adopting an ordinance that sets a lower maximum speed limit, empowering counties to make adjustments based on their own local needs,” the press release states.

The increased speed limits will go into effect on January 1, 2014.