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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1 COMMENT

  1. This is one of those subjects I didn’t bother to follow due to the absurdity of the premise. I am fairly confident that what I know about physics and energy consumption is true. Speed has an exponential effect on total energy. Do I need to explain that in more detail?

    Congestion has been a topic. Does this solve a problem or is everyone simply following each other at greater speed when the slower speed was too fast to do so safely?

    It also increases the speed differential between different vehicle classes. The big rigs are still rocketships on downhills and turtles on uphill grades.

    Maybe it doesn’t matter and crashes were already dramatic enough to be deadly. What’s wrong with a few more spins or flips? When a can is crushed does time to do so matter?

    What was the problem that this solved?

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