HARRISBURG -- Drivers who use the Pennsylvania Turnpike can soon legally drive a little faster. The speed limit of 65 miles per hour which is posted throughout 450 miles across the state will be going up to 70 miles per hour this spring.
According to a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, this comes after a study began on a stretch of the turnpike starting in July 2014. The commission recently approved the increase.
The increase will include 450 miles of road throughout the state that are currently 65 mph.
"Everybody is passing you at 65 miles per hour anyway. You have to keep up. You're in the slow lane if you're at 65," said Annette Tenisci of Lehighton.
A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission says bumping up the speed to 70 is in line with the speed people are actually driving. He also said a pilot study on a 100-mile stretch of the turnpike showed increasing the speed to 70 did not result in more crashes.
The commission studied this for 18 months.
Bumping up the speed limit to 70 mph isn't exactly a bad thing for all drivers who use the turnpike because they say they're already going that fast.
"Nobody goes 65. Everybody is always over," laughed one driver. "I know we do it."
Michele and Gene Stoudt of New Jersey say going a little faster will help with trips to visit their grandkids in Carbon County.
"I think it's great because I do 70 already."
"Love it," said Michele Stoudt. "70 is fine. Most people are way above 70 as it is now so 70 would make it much better."
Not all drivers we talked to are OK with the speed limit increasing.
"If you increase it to 70, then people will go 75 and 80. You got a big potential for crashes, so this is a bad idea," said Dennis Horvath of Lehighton.
The Turnpike Commission says the speed limit won't change in three areas: construction zones, tunnel areas, and main line toll plazas. Those areas will stay 55 miles per hour.
Some drivers are hoping an increase in the speed limit will lead to an increase in police presence.
"I think maybe put a few more state police cars on the 'pike. I think they can do it," said Joe Pizzuti of Lehighton.
Right now, there is no time line for when exactly the switch will happen. The big task will be changing all the speed limit signs once it gets closer.
The spokesperson added PA Act 89 allowed the turnpike and PennDOT to begin studies to look into the increase of speed limits in the state.
Currently PennDOT has a stretch of Interstate 80 and Interstate 380 where it is 70 mph as part of a study to increase the speed on interstates. PennDOT expects to announce those findings from the study sometime this spring.