Gov. Tim Kaine has signed a bill into law to raise the speed limit on
an interstate in southeast Virginia, but the state’s DOT will have the final
say on the matter.
Sponsored by Sen. Frank M. Ruff Jr., R-Mecklenburg, the measure calls
for increasing the speed limit on Interstate 85 from Petersburg to the North Carolina line from 65 mph to 70 mph for all vehicles. The new speed limit is expected
to take effect July 1.
The bill – SB53 – won approval 36-3 in the Senate. House lawmakers
endorsed it 80-20.
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 will have the final say on
any changes to the speed limit. Safety studies must be done to determine
whether portions of the interstate in Virginia should maintain a 65 mph speed
limit, the newspaper reported.