Part of I-80 to Increase to 70mph

Drivers at a rest stop on Interstate 80 near Jersey Shore were surprised to find out the speed limit of that section of Interstate 80 will increase next month to 70 miles per hour.

It’s part of a study being done by PennDOT, who said this location was chosen because most people are already driving 70 miles per hour or higher. Some people agree with the speed increase.

“I think it should be raised, but then enforce it at 70, not at 80,” Dick Houtz said.

While others said they disagree.

“I’ve traveled in states where the speed limit is 70 and higher and I think it’s pretty dangerous going at those speeds,” Domenic Granato said.

“People that are going 75 in a 65 may now go 80 in a 70. So if you figure that any increased speed might contribute to increased accidents then yeah, it’s going to be a problem,” John Consiglio said.

According to PennDOT, the speed limit on two major roadways in our area will increase to 70 miles per hour on August 11. That includes 21 miles of Interstate 380 and 88 miles of Interstate 80, from Clearfield County to Clinton County.

Even though the 70mph speed limit does not go into effect until August 11, some of the signs are already in place.

A spokesperson for PennDOT said the new signs cost $120 each. Estimating by figures PennDOT gave Newswatch 16, the signs will cost around $8,000 to put up on Interstate 80.

Mark David of Xenia, Ohio drives this stretch of Interstate 80 often for work and said he has concerns.

“I just think the cars should go 70 and not the trucks. Trucks should always go slower because it takes them a longer time to slow down and everything,” David said.

A spokesperson for PennDOT said PennDOT will study the locations throughout the year where the speed limits are changing. They will use that data to determine where else the speed limit could be increased.

3 comments

  • Franko

    You know I guess most people, and those stupid lawyers who run the commercials blaming trucks for accidents because they are going to fast, are totally uneducated — unless you are an independent trucker who owns their own truck, all the major carriers (Arnold, Averitt, Boyle, Butler, CR England, Crete, Bowman, deBoer, Heartland, Hogan, JB Hunt, Knight, Melton, Oakley, Ozark, PAM, Roehl, Schneider, Shaffer, Smith, SRT, Swift, TransAm, USA, US Express, Werner, Wil Trans) have speed governors on their trucks that limit their trucks to between 60 and 65 and it cuts back power through computer management. There are two reasons — one is because their insurance company requires it and two, if they are involved with commerce into Canada, Canadian law requires trucks coming into their country to have speed governors. So all this talk that people give saying that trucks are constantly speeding only comes down to science — a 80,000 lb truck going down hill is going to pick up speed regardless of the governors. But our local media, and lawyers, constantly say how the trucks are zipping down the highway. What they need is to educated the regular driver more. How many times have you seen a small car just cut in front of a truck in this area, especially on 81 through Dickson City, Dunmore, Scranton? These car drivers seem to think a 70,000 to 80,000 truck can stop on a dime. Yes, there are independent drivers who drive fast and some smaller local companies that do not have governors on their trucks. The absolute best will be next year when people start complaining that the trucks are going to slow, because while we are trying to 70 they can’t go faster than 60/65, and this is only on a flat level surface, we all know they can’t go fast on any type of incline.

  • 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!

  • jcwconsult

    These changes will improve safety. Raising the painted numbers on the signs (that most people do NOT comply with for their actual speeds) up to the ACTUAL 85th percentile speeds of free flowing traffic would improve safety even more in Pennsylvania. Most of I-80 (other than the easternmost miles) should be posted at 75 mph. Turnpike limits should vary from 65 to 75, depending on the ACTUAL speeds of up to 85% of the traffic under good conditions. THAT is the science, for those that want to advocate for the greatest safety and the fewest speed traps. James C. Walker, Life member – National Motorists Association

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