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The state transport department is going to raise the speed limit for the motorists on the Pennsylvania Turnpike next year.
With the development, the driver will be able to cut the time for covering a nearly 100-mile section by about six minutes.
According to the sources, the speed limit is likely to be increased between 65 mph and 70 mph, possibly on the Routes 222 and 283.
State transportation secretary Barry Schoch said that the department is mulling over increasing the speed limit on the rest of the interstate system and limited-access highways now posted at 65 to 70 mph. That would include 222 and 283 in Lancaster, he said.
“The interest is to match the actual operating speed with the posted speed,” Schoch said at a news conference at the Turnpike Commission headquarters on Wednesday.
Turnpike CEO Mark Compton, who also accompanied Schoch at the press conference, announced increases in the speed limits from 65 to 70 mph between the Blue Mountain interchange near Shippensburg and the Morgantown Interchange south of Reading.
“Even though we’re increasing the speed limit, motorists still must obey the law and drive safely,” After all, 70 mph is the maximum speed, not the mandatory speed,” Compton said.
“About 85 percent of drivers are already traveling about 70 mph,” Schoch said.
The state transportation department also announced that it will commence piloting a 70-mph speed limit on two interstates by August 11:
- 88 miles of Interstate 80 between the DuBois interchange (exit 101) in Clearfield County and mile marker 189 in Clinton County.
- 21 miles of Interstate 380 between Interstate 84 in Lackawanna County and Pocono Pines/Mt. Pocono interchange (exit 3) in Monroe County.
The state department will also keep a track of crashes occurred due to raised speed limits.
Schoch said, “Safety will be the top priority. The limits could be dropped back if crashes increase in the pilot zone”.
Compton also said that the new speed limit regime could be implemented on remaining stretch of 550-plus mile toll road system by next spring.
The state Legislature has set up the maximum speed limits on the turnpike and Pennsylvania roads.
The lawmakers had also welcomed the move and given a go ahead to the transportation officials with the new speed limit plans in a transportation funding law passed year.