Virginia raises speed limit to 70 mph on some roads
Virginians no longer have to drive 55 on some roads. On Tuesday, Gov. Bob McDonnell signed a new law that raises the speed limit from 65 mph to 70 mph in rural and less populated areas.
McDonnell sponsored the bill, which he says will help residents of the state get where they are going on time. “Thirty-two states already have 70 mph speed limits, and 13 allow motorists to drive 75 mph,”the governor said in a statement. “This slight increase in our speed limit will be safe for motorists and help get Virginians to their destinations a little quicker each day. This is an important early step towards our common goal of improving transportation in the Commonwealth.”
In January, Concord, Mass.-based car navigator manufacturer Tom Tom Inc. released a report analyzing the average speed of American drivers on interstates when they are in light traffic conditions. The report found that most drivers stay within the speed limit, even in states with posted speed limits between 65 and 70 mph. The fastest average speeds were recorded in Mississippi, with average speeds of just over 70 mph and posted speed limits ranging from 65-70 mph, followed by New Mexico (70 mph actual average, 70-75 mph posted speed limits), Idaho (70 mph actual average, 65-75 mph posted speed limits), Utah (70 mph actual average, 65-75 mph posted speed limits) and Alabama (70 mph actual average, 60-70 mph posted speed limits). The nation’s fastest road is Interstate 15 in Utah and Nevada, with speeds averaging 77.67 mph, although some spots on that highway allow 80 mph.