Bill to boost speeds on Virginia's I-85 sent to governor

| 3/28/2006

A bill awaiting Gov. Tim Kaine’s signature would raise the speed limit for all vehicles on an interstate in southeast Virginia.

Sponsored by Sen. Frank M. Ruff Jr., R-Mecklenburg, the bill would increase the speed limit on Interstate 85 from Petersburg to the North Carolina line from 65 mph to 70 mph for all vehicles.

The bill – SB53 – won approval 36-3 in the Senate. House lawmakers endorsed it 80-20. The votes cleared the way for the bill to move to the governor’s desk.

Lawmakers in the House refused to authorize a change offered by Delegate Bob Hull, D-Falls Church. Hull tried to add a provision to the bill while it was debated on the House floor that would’ve kept large trucks at the current 65 mph limit.

Ruff told the Richmond Times-Dispatch the change makes sense for all vehicles because the speed limit on the interstate from Atlanta north to the Virginia line is 70 mph, except in urban areas.

The Virginia Department of Transportation would have the final say on any changes to the speed limit.

Safety studies would need to be done to determine whether portions of the interstate in Virginia should have a lower speed limit if the overall limit is raised, the newspaper reported.