By Noel McLaren

HARRISBURG, Pa., (CBS) — Highway officials announced that they’re picking up the pace on a 100 mile stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Starting Wednesday between the Blue Mountain and Morgantown Interchanges, motorists will now be able to go 70 miles per hour.

Right now the speed limit is 65 Mph, but turnpike officials say their studies show at least this particular section of the highway can accommodate faster traffic with the hopes of improving congestion.

“These speed limits were proposed as a way to get people and goods to their destinations faster,” said Jenny Robinson, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson.

But AAA says with higher speeds, comes higher risk. Nearly 200 died in speed-related incidents in PA last year alone. But Pennsylvania isn’t the only state picking up the pace. 34 states have maximum speed limits of 70 mph or higher, so according to AAA, turnpike officials are just moving in the same direction as everyone else.

The Turnpike Commission says on Wednesday they will announce other sections where the speed limit will also be increased.

“It will not happen on what are called urban interstates and urban meaning such as the Philadelphia,” says Robinson.

Turnpike reps say State Police will step up their enforcement with the new speed limits.


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