You can now legally drive 70 miles per hour on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, but it’s only from Blue Mountain to Morgantown. Officials will be looking at any changes caused by the new speed limit before deciding to go statewide. The new speed limit only stretches for a hundred miles, but could be implemented throughout the Commonwealth.
“It really comes back to what the crash data will tell us, what the statistics will look like. The Turnpike is one of the safest roadways in the nation. We want to continue that trend” said Pennsylvania Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. There are 2 more 70 mile per hour plans on Interstate 80 and Interstate 380 that will begin next month.
Pennsylvania’s Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch said the increases are just playing catchup with the speed that a majority of drivers are already going. “Eighty five percent of the traffic is running at seventy two and we don’t see any safety issues associated with it. Why not raise the speed” said Schoch.
He said that a majority of drivers will most likely keep going the same speed, but is ready to act if they don’t. “If we see it going up to seventy eight or seventy nine that may give us cause to say this is not a good idea and roll it back” said Schoch.
Schoch acknowledges most people do go a little faster than the speed limit. However Lieutenant Edward Murphy with the Pennsylvania State Police said there’s only one sure fire way to not get a ticket. “I would advise you that if you go over the speed limit you may be cited” said Murphy.