Posted: October 11, 2013 - 2:00pm
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A leading Pennsylvania state senator said Friday it's time to increase the state's maximum allowable speed limit from 65 mph to 70 mph.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati announced plans to introduce legislation that would allow — but not mandate — the higher maximum speeds on interstates, including the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Scarnati, R-Jefferson, said the 70 mph limit would help traffic move better and make the delivery of goods more efficient.
He said 34 states allow at least 70 mph, and 16 of those allow speeds of 75 mph. He noted the number of fatal crashes in the United States fell by about a quarter between 2005 and 2011.
Under his proposal, speeds would not be increased without justification by highway department studies.
Pennsylvania adopted the 65 mph limit in 1995.
A legislative hearing in Wisconsin last week considered a proposal to raise that state's 65 mph limit. Wisconsin is the only Midwestern state that limits speeds to 65 mph.
Texas has a toll road that allows drivers to go 85 mph.
In Utah, signs were going up last month on many stretches of rural interstates to increase the speed limit to 80 mph. A three-year study found fewer crashes occurred in 80 mph zones because traffic tended to be going at about the same rate of speed.