Take a drive south down Interstate 79 and chances are you will notice traffic moving at a faster pace. This past week, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) crews were out and about on over 800 miles of Pennsylvania highways changing the posted speed limit signs from 65 to 70 miles per hour.
This speed limit raise will affect several highways across the Commonwealth including stretches of Interstate 79 between the I-90 interchange and State Route 228 in Cranberry Township, Butler County and I-80 from the Ohio State Line to mile marker 190 in Clinton County.
The new raise in speed limit comes after significant studies in Central Pennsylvania where the raise in limits were not found to cause a significant increase in the amount of car accidents in test areas according to Commonwealth Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards. The Pennsylvania Turnpike had already raised its speed limit to 70 miles per hour on a 200-mile stretch in 2014; however, the Pennsylvania Turnpike is managed by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission which is an agency independent from PennDOT.
Currently, neighboring states Ohio and West Virginia employ 70 mph speed limits on most stretches of highway. The highest posted speed limit in the United States is 85 miles per hour on Texas State Highway 130 in Travis, Caldwell, and Guadalupe Counties. The lowest maximum posted speed limit is 60 mph across the entire state of Hawaii.