Speed Limit Speeding Up on Turnpike

Drivers who travel parts of the Pennsylvania Turnpike will be able to go a little faster starting Wednesday.

A 100-mile stretch between the Shippensburg and Reading area will go from 65 to 70 miles an hour and that may be only the beginning,

Turnpike and PennDOT officials are scheduled to explain plans for other 70 mile an hour zones on Pennsylvania interstates on Wednesday.

But many drivers along the turnpike’s northeast extension say speeding up to 70 has them pumping the brakes.

When you pass through toll booths at certain points along the turnpike, officials are now cranking up the speed limit from 65 to 70 miles an hour.

It’s happening along the 100-mile stretch between Reading and Shippensburg.

Jim Russo, an E-ZPass user, says especially with his boat, he won’t push those limits.

“At my age I do the speed limit anyway and then watch everybody breeze by. I hope they enforce it more if they bring it up to 70.”

Just off the turnpike northeast extension in Carbon County, drivers on their way to Philadelphia say this increase will speed up their trip.

“I think it’s good if you’re an experienced driver but if you’re a little nervous behind the wheel, it might create more congestion in the slow lane,” said Stuart Sheldrick of Ontario.

Many of the truck drivers we talked to just off the Pennsylvania Turnpike say raising the speed limit to 70 miles an hour has them raising a lot of concerns.

Truck driver Ron Sanders travels all 48 states and says more than half of these big rigs have a governor — a device that limits how fast the truck can travel. ┬áHe has some advice for other drivers.

“People are going to have to be a little more careful before they start changing lanes.”

Other interstate highways in Pennsylvania may also be raising the speed limit to 70 miles an hour.

PennDOT and turnpike officials are expected to reveal those plans Wednesday.

“I’ve driven through Texas where the speed limit’s 80 and all across I-80 through the western states where the speed limit’s 70 and 75, it’s no difference,” Sanders said.

While truckers may not mind, others who live near major highways say they’re not so sure speeding up is a good idea.

“There’s been enough accidents recently on I-80 and so on, it makes you nervous,” said Steve Loewenstein of Peckville.

9 comments

  • Debbie

    An additional 5mph (which we all know will morph into 10mph) + the current distractions while driving (cellphone, texting, etc.) = a recipe for disaster.

  • James C. Walker

    Pennsylvania is finally beginning to raise posted limits part way toward the safest levels, the 85th percentile speeds of free flowing traffic under good conditions. This is good, but FAR from the optimum actions. It helps to have limits raised so that only about 40% to 50% of the drivers are defined as violators. It is best, and safest, if the limits are set so that only 15% of the drivers are above the limits and defined as violators.

    James C. Walker, Life Member – National Motorists Association

  • christine

    people are going over 65 i mean way over the speed limit now to raise it to 70 means about 80/85 till more deaths rise its not about if u cant handle it its about safty to me i cant see how faster is safe im speaking how i feel is all

  • Britt

    I do that already and it’s only 5mph over 65, it is not going to hurt u ppl!! if u can not drive that fast get the heck off the road. :) #hatesolwdriver

  • domari nolo

    Soon insurance companies and the government will force Americans to have dash cams. Russia already does this. Russians also flash AK47’s out the window when you wanna act like your someone special with somewhere to be of importance. If your willing to sacrifice freedom for temporary security you deserve neither.

    • QUESTION WITH BOLDNESS

      Just one note about Russia: They do not FORCE you to use a camera. Most people choose to use a camera, because of the number of attempted fraud cases. Also, the insurance companies in Russia encourage it. A friend of mine made a video about this on YouTube. Just search for “Real Russia” ep.37 for info.

    • Duke Ganote

      Facts first! Rural interstates account for less than 5% of Pennsylvania’s traffic deaths. With a fatality rate of 0.60, rural interstates are the safest rural roads in the state — the state-wide rural rate is 3.72 deaths per 100-million-travel-miles — over six times higher!

      No surprise to the well-informed. The common causes of crashes are opposing traffic in the next lane; cross traffic at intersections; roadside hazards, and sharp curves. That’s why interstates are the safest roads in Pennsylvania.

      Furthermore, rural interstates (1) account for about about 10% of Pennsylvania’s vehicle-mileage; (2) are very fuel-efficient — as EPA car stickers show; (3) nominal changes in speed limits have little effect on actual travel speeds. Won’t be much impact on overall consumption; just yours if you drive a gas hog.

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