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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: January 7, 2013 04:12 PM
From: Representative Peter J. Daley
To: All House members
Subject: Co-sponsorship: Pennsylvania Turnpike Speed Limit
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce a bill that will amend Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statues by authorizing the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) to establish 70 mile-per-hour (MPH) speed limits on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Specifically, this legislation would allow the PTC to set 70 MPH speed limits on areas of the turnpike that are structurally capable to handle the speed and where safety is not hindered. According to the PTC, 70 MPH could be implemented safely across most of the existing turnpike system, with a few areas where roadway geometrics or traffic patterns and traffic volume would dictate a lower than 70 MPH speed. Because of changing factors such as these, my legislation provides the PTC with the power and ability to set the maximum speed limit when and where they feel appropriate. Additionally, this bill also includes a provision that directs the PTC to conduct a review of traffic accidents and related statistics in areas of the system where the speed limit was increased to 70 MPH one year after the change takes effect.

This concept is beneficial to the PTC and to the Commonwealth in several ways. Act 44 of 2007 established an annual payment of $450 million from the PTC to the state for highway and bridge repair as well as mass transit funding. Because the federal government denied Pennsylvania the ability to toll Interstate 80, as required by Act 44, the PTC has been forced to increase tolls on the turnpike system. By offering a higher speed limit to motorists, we are creating further incentive for passenger cars and commercial vehicles to use the turnpike, which also may keep more of these vehicles off of other roads which pass through many of our smaller, residential areas. Lastly, establishing a higher speed limit on just the turnpike offers customers something unique to any other roadway in the Commonwealth, a move beneficial to customers since they are paying to use the turnpike system.

If you have any questions regarding this proposal, please contact my Harrisburg Office (717-783-9333) or e-mail Jamie Macon at JMacon@pahouse.net .

Introduced as HB932