Turnpike Speed Limit to Increase

By Ashley Doerzbacher

Published 07/19 2014 06:52PM

Updated 07/23 2014 08:31AM

ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY - There are currently 36 states that have maximum speed limit of 70 or higher on major highways, and now our state can join the list
65 MPH speed limit signs on the Pennsylvania Turnpike have been taken down. In their place are new ones that now read 70 MPH.
The speed increase is taking effect along a 100 mile stretch of the highway.
"I do believe it really came down to making sure law enforcement is comfortable with it, the crews that work the turnpike, they're comfort levels seem to be okay with it," said Tor Michaels, Chief of Staff Rep. Scott Conklin (D-77th).
Drivers seem to think the increase is a good idea.  Ones we spoke with don't think an increase in speed will result in an increase in accidents.
"I think it's a good idea because everyone passes me going 85,” said Nancy Gill, of Duncansville. “So maybe they can get off my bumper a little bit."
"People drive that right now and another 5 MPH isn't going to really affect anything on the turnpike I don't believe," said Jim Hullihen, of Punxsutawney.
But when it comes to local highways, like Route 22 or interstates 99 and 80, drivers seem to be spilt on an increase in speed.
"You feel pretty comfortable at 70 I think most of the time when you're traveling, we travel to Pittsburgh a lot and that's about what we travel at that speed anyways," said Hullihen.
"I'm a little iffy about 70 around here,” said Gill. “Sixty-five is comfortable for me because everyone goes 75 anyhow."
A decision to raise those rates would have to be put through the same tests as the turnpike was.
"We need to take a really hard look at that,” said Michaels. “We would again have to hear from our law enforcement and our highways workers before we would proceed with anything like that."
Michaels said there are no discussions any time soon in Harrisburg on changes those speed limits.

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