Quantcast

Pa. senator wants to increase speed limit to 70 - abc27 WHTM

Pa. senator wants to increase speed limit to 70

Posted: Updated:
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Senator Joe Scarnati - (R) Jefferson - drives thousands of miles a month coming from a rural county to the Capitol. He's got plenty of time to think about, and analyze, Pennsylvania's roads.

He's confident there are plenty of stretches of highway and turnpike that can handle a 70 mile per hour speed limit, so he sent out a co-sponsorship memo last Friday to fellow senators looking for a 5 mph hike.

Scarnati says his prime motivation is economics. He wants the Commonwealth to keep on truckin' and those trucks to keep on movin'.

"It's about getting goods and services to markets as quickly as possible," Scarnati said. "If you can do it safely, we oughta to do it."

Scarnati's proposal would NOT require the speed limit to be raised to 70, it would ALLOW PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike to hike them in stretches where they could do so safely.

Monday motorists on I-81 and I-83 around Harrisburg say that's not likely on the Capital Beltway.

"I think it's a little too congested in this area," said Dave Stilphen, a former Harrisburg resident who now lives in upstate New York. "Too many people on the road at once means there would be more tailgating of trucks and at those speeds I'd be very concerned about that."

abc27 drove 65 mph on I-81 South at noontime in the right lane and was perpetually passed by cars and trucks traveling much faster. If 65 is the law, and it is, then the law was largely being ignored. What would increasing the speed limit to 70 mean?

"I just put 2,000 miles on my car in the last four days," said Don Wehrmann, at a Harrisburg rest stop en route to Rhode Island. "I go with the flow, and there's still cars blowing by me at 85 or 90. But I like the idea of increasing the speed limit."

Scarnati says cars are more fuel efficient now so consumption is not as big a deal as it once was. He also says cars are safer. 

Don agrees. "In my wife's car, you're doing 80 and it feels like you're doing 55."

But others just aren't comfortable putting Pennsylvania in the fast lane.

"I think we're fine just the way we are," said Jean Attanasi of the Poconos. "I think we use more gas going faster, and it's a little less safe, I think."

Scarnati concedes there are more pressing issues for lawmakers at the Capitol.

His says his bill won't likely be fast-tracked.

But he is in Senate leadership, and he is jump-starting the conversation.

"Look, there'll be critics and obviously I'm not afraid of hearing from the critics. Maybe it will make the bill better."

In his memo, Scarnati said 34 states have speed limits of at least 70 mph.

In Pennsylvania, the speed limit was increased from 55 to 65 in 1995 under Governor Tom Ridge.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • State police arrest man for aggravated assault

    State police arrest man for aggravated assault

    Saturday, August 30 2014 2:10 PM EDT2014-08-30 18:10:05 GMT
    State police say a Dauphin County man is behind bars for aggravated assault.Troopers were called to a home on the 100-block of South Second Street around 3:35 Friday afternoon.According to state police, they received a complaint that 48 year old Robert Dale Beaver, Jr. allegedly took prescription drugs, and was carrying a knife and big stick.Troopers say Beaver was looking to pick a fight.Investigators say Beaver refused to listen to commands and reached for the knife in an attempt to attack ...More >>
    State police say a Dauphin County man is behind bars for aggravated assault.Troopers were called to a home on the 100-block of South Second Street around 3:35 Friday afternoon.According to state police, they received a complaint that 48 year old Robert Dale Beaver, Jr. allegedly took prescription drugs, and was carrying a knife and big stick.Troopers say Beaver was looking to pick a fight.Investigators say Beaver refused to listen to commands and reached for the knife in an attempt to attack ...More >>
  • At an intersection with no crossing guard, retired Marine steps up to help

    At an intersection with no crossing guard, retired Marine steps up to help

    Saturday, August 30 2014 10:28 AM EDT2014-08-30 14:28:46 GMT
    A retired Marine has gained national attention after he put on his dress blues to help students cross a busy street near a city elementary school It was last year Cpl. Lewis Alston, 63, Lititz, noticed South Duke Street and North Street did not have a crossing guard. The intersection is near Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. So Alston, a chaplain for the Lancaster County Marine Corps League, took action. “What I did was the first day of school, on Monday; I was at a funeral service be...More >>
    A retired Marine has gained national attention after he put on his dress blues to help students cross a busy street near a city elementary school It was last year Cpl. Lewis Alston, 63, Lititz, noticed South Duke Street and North Street did not have a crossing guard. The intersection is near Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. So Alston, a chaplain for the Lancaster County Marine Corps League, took action. “What I did was the first day of school, on Monday; I was at a funeral service be...More >>
  • Police investigate string of car and home break-ins

    Police investigate string of car and home break-ins

    Saturday, August 30 2014 1:15 PM EDT2014-08-30 17:15:22 GMT
    Police in Lower Paxton Township are investigating another string of car and home break-ins.According to police, two homes on Wesley Driver were reported broken into.One home had cash from a wallet stolen, and a purse was reportedly rifled through.Police say entry was gained through an unlocked door.The second home did not have anything reported missing, but investigators say entry was gained by using a key which was left in a car parked in the driveway.In addition to these incidents, police s...More >>
    Police in Lower Paxton Township are investigating another string of car and home break-ins.According to police, two homes on Wesley Driver were reported broken into.One home had cash from a wallet stolen, and a purse was reportedly rifled through.Police say entry was gained through an unlocked door.The second home did not have anything reported missing, but investigators say entry was gained by using a key which was left in a car parked in the driveway.In addition to these incidents, police s...More >>
Powered by WorldNow