PEORIA-Your Driver's ED
teacher probably taught you speeding is illegal and dangerous.
But let's be honest, a lot of us still have a lead foot. And now, a new report is calling on states to do more to address the problem of speeding.
Illinois law says you can't drive faster than 65 miles per hour on the Interstate.
In some places it's lower than that.
But state troopers say many drivers are
pushing the limit and putting lives at risk.
Illinois State Police, Miles Walsh said, "Speeding is a factor in almost every crash."
If you're traveling at 65, 70 miles per hour on the interstate, the crash is going to be significant."
We went out with trooper Miles Walsh one afternoon and pointed our zapper on Interstate 74 in Peoria, where the speed limit is 55 miles per hour.
It did not take long for us to catch someone going 69 and from Walsh's radar others were well into the 70's.
He says going fast comes more natural to people these days.
"I think in the last few years, people have gotten much more in a hurry than they used to be," said Walsh.
That theory mirrors one finding in a new report by the Governor's Highway Safety Association.
It says people aren't taking speed limits seriously, and Walsh has proof.
"I'll come up to the car and ask them how fast they were going. They'll say 75. They assume that's okay. It's not," said Walsh.
If that surprises you, it probably should.
The study also says 90-percent of drivers know speeding poses a serious threat to their own safety. So what should be done about the disconnect?
"Our objective is voluntary compliance," said Walsh.
The study argues states need to enforce speeding more aggressively and pay closer attention to critical areas like school and construction zones.
But from Walsh's perspective this is something he says Illinois is already doing with special enforcement details designed to slow people down.
Walsh said, "So there's a lot of options we have to monitor the speed of vehicles that are traveling around us."
One of those options is called a Lydar.
Walsh adds, "It's extremely accurate. We like using the Lydar unit because it's more vehicle specific then the old fashioned radar."
Walsh sits in one spot, points the Lydar until he finds a speeder, and radios another trooper to go after them.
Walsh says it's not about ruining people's days or making money.
For him it's all about driving home the reality that speed limits are in place for a reason and there are no exceptions. Period.
"65 is the maximum speed limit in the state of Illinois and that's what we expect people to drive," said Walsh.
But no matter how proactive he is, ultimately, it's you the driver, who controls the need for speed.
Walsh said, "You don't save yourself hardly any time at all by speeding. You really don't."
If you choose to speed anyway know it could cost you. Speeding tickets in Illinois start at $125 dollars.
Then the faster you go, the more expensive they get. In some cases you could get hauled off to jail.