Pennsylvania Raises Highway Speed Limit to 70 in Many Areas

By Jesse Sokolow on 3 May 2016
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The Pennsylvania Turnpike: It's ok to go a bit faster now

The Pennsylvania Turnpike: It’s ok to go a bit faster now

Officials in Pennsylvania announced that they are increasing the speed limit on hundreds of miles of highway in the state to 70 mph (112 km/h) effective Tuesday. The change impacts 396 miles (637 kilometers) of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and 400 miles (644 kilometers) of five state highways.

The state had already raised the speed limit on 200 miles (322 kilometers) of highway from 65 mph (105 km/h) to 70 in 2014.

Officials at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said they had studied speed and traffic data as well as the “physical characteristics” of the highways before deciding where to raise the speed limit.

The higher speed limit will be in effect on Interstates 79, 80, 99, and 380, and US 15. It also goes into effect on all remaining sections of the turnpike system that are now posted at 65 mph, including extensions in southwestern Pennsylvania, officials said.

Over three dozen states have speed limits of 70 mph or higher including California, Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, and Wisconsin, while a handful of states including Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming have speed limits on some highways of 80 mph (129 km/h).

“Motorists should not look at this change as consent to speed; in fact, it’s as vital as ever to drive sensibly, to avoid distractions and to buckle up,” said Pennsylvania Turnpike Chairman Sean Logan in a statement on the agency’s website, adding that it’s important to “drive slower when traffic, weather or road conditions demand it.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)