Legislation to raise the maximum speed limit to 70 mp on most Virginia highways passed the House and Senate last week.
“The citizens want it,” said Del. Charles Poindexter, R-Glade Hill, who voted in favor of the House bill. “They already drive fast and enforcement can’t stop it.”
Senate Bill 537, sponsored by Sen. Charles Newman, R-Lynchburg, passed by a wide margin and soon after, the House passed HB 856, sponsored by Del. Charles Carrico, R-Galax.
“It makes economic sense, and it applies only to areas where appropriate,” Poindexter said.
The new speed limit of 70 mph as stated in the bill’s full text, will apply to “interstate highways, multilane, divided, limited access highways and high-occupancy vehicle lanes if the lanes are separated from regular travel lanes. A 60 mph speed limit will still apply on “U.S. Route 29, U.S. Route 58, U.S. Route 360, U.S. route 460, and U.S. Route 17 between Port Royal and Saluda where they are nonlimited access, multilane, divided highways.”
Poindexter also said that he doubted the higher speed limit would add to any more accidents but that accidents could possibly be a little more severe.
Thirty-three states already allow 70 mph maximum speed limits.