Governor doesn’t rule out raising speed limits

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Almost every driver has an opinion on raising speed limits. In Virginia, the current maximum speed limit is 70 mph, less than a state like Utah where it is 80 mph, or parts of Texas where the speed limit is 85 mph.

Some drivers have greater concerns though about lower limits, like 55 mph on major roads or in construction zones.

On WTOP radio Wednesday, a caller from Northern Virginia named Michael asked Governor Terry McAuliffe if he would be interested in increasing speed limits, particularly in major construction zones, where  drivers often disobey limits, creating dangerous conditions for those who actually follow the law.

Governor McAuliffe did not rule it out.

"First time I have been asked that question," McAuliffe said. "Obviously I will go back and take a look at it, talk with my Secretary of Transportation and the appropriate folks about it and look into it."

"We are going to do whatever it is to make sure folks on our roads can drive safely and keep our families safe," he added.

AAA Mid Atlantic spokesman Martha Meade praised the Governor's decision to look into the controversial issue, but cautioned making any decision without conducting engineering studies.

"We would always defer always to the engineering studies for the appropriate, safe and enforceable speed for any set of roadways," Meade said.



  • RayJFromVA

    Unless the limits are enforced, the same dangerous conditions will exist for those who follow the law. It’s a mistake.

  • Gerry

    Out west do they have as many deer as we do here? I wonder if reaction times are different at 60, 70 or 80 mph?

    • athynz

      Definitely NOT lowered. Raised in certain areas yes – such as highways and major roadways. Metro and residential areas should remain the same. Then again that’s my opinion – I’d like so see some research done.

  • Alex

    Absolutely the speed limits are too restrictive it caters to those who can’t drive properly and those who drive distracted. Faster is better if you can r handle driving at 60 in rural city areas or 80 on the free way you shouldn’t be driving.

  • Psy-Ko Smiley

    I took a trip to NC this weekend and was amazed at how much people speed. The speed limit much of the was was 70mph yet the average speed most were driving was 80-85mph. If you raise it to 80mph I have a feeling most people will drive 90-95mph People will always drive 10-15 above the limit, at 15 it becomes reckless driving if stopped so thats probably the only reason people stop there. I like driving fast but from a safety point of view I say no.

  • Heather

    Uhh, I’ve never been to Utah, but Texas is a hell of a lot flatter and the roads are a mostly straight. Speeking as a speed demon, 70 is high enough.

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