Punch It, Margaret! Virginia to Raise Speed Limit

Top speed in the state will become 70 mph

By Jack Heinbaugh
|  Wednesday, Feb 3, 2010  |  Updated 10:30 AM EDT
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Punch It, Margaret! Virginia to Raise Speed Limit

You expect me to go 70 in this traffic?

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Drivers may soon be able to put the pedal to the metal when going through Virginia.

Lawmakers in the Old Dominion have passed bills by wide margins to raise the speed limit to 70 mph.

The measure passed the House with a 71-26 vote without debate. The Senate passed its bill 29-10.

One of those opposed was state Sen. Creigh Deeds, who said the state has no business increasing speeds on freeways when it faces a transportation funding crisis.

Republican state Sen. John Watkins countered, saying nothing compels drivers to go 70. Of course, that may be easier said than done with a semi riding on your back bumper.

Thirty-three states already allow drivers to go 70 mph, 12 have 75 mph speed limits, and Texas and Utah allow speeds up to 80.

Gov. Bob McDonnell, who defeated Deeds in the race for governor, is likely to sign the bill. He advocated increasing the speed limit during his campaign.

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