Proposal seeks to raise state speed limit

Last updated: October 12. 2013 12:03AM - 1837 Views
KATE GIAMMARISE The Associated Press

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A proposal by a state Senate leader aims to increase the maximum speed limit on Pennsylvania’s interstate highways and the Pennsylvania Turnpike from 65 to 70 mph.

In a memo seeking co-sponsors for the legislation, Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati noted 34 states, including neighboring Ohio and West Virginia, have maximum speed limits of at least 70 mph. The increased speed could mean “more efficient delivery of goods and services throughout the Commonwealth.”

“Pennsylvania’s maximum speed limit was set at 65 mph in 1995 under Governor Tom Ridge,” stated the memo from the Jefferson County Republican. “In the eighteen years since that time automobiles have not only become more fuel efficient but technological advances have also led to better built vehicles which are far easier to handle and drive at increased speeds.”

The legislation would not mandate a higher speed limit across the state but would set 70 mph as the maximum allowable speed on interstate highways and the turnpike; speed limits “would remain at current levels unless engineering and traffic studies conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation or Turnpike Commission find that a higher speed limit is reasonable and safe before increasing it on any stretch of road,” the memo states.

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