New speed limit signs went up on parts of Virginia Interstates this week, increasing the “legal” speed limit to 70 miles-per-hour.

Which means drivers on I-81 have an additional fives miles per hour of grace since most people drive the super slab at between 70 and 75.

A State Trooper won’t tell you openly that they give a 10 mph grace but most of them do. One trooper told me privately that he doesn’t start writing tickets on a 55 mph road until 66 and he knows of troopers who patrol I-81 who give a 15-miles per hour leeway.

Raising the speed limits was one of the campaign promises of Gov. Bob McDonnell.

The higher limit of 70 starts Southwest of Christiansburg but the lower speed limit of 60 still applies to the stretch of I-81 that bypasses Salem and Roanoke.

Gentlemen, start your engines.

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