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Pennsylvania Turnpike speed limit rising to 70 mph

Motorists will soon be able to legally drive a little faster on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has approved raising the speed limit to 70 mph on the statewide toll road.

When the change goes into effect later this spring, the speed limit on most of the toll road will be increased from the current 65 mph.

Sections of the highway now posted at 55 mph will remain at that speed, said Carl DeFebo, a spokesman for the commission.

The 55 mph areas include stretches of Southeastern Pennsylvania near the Mid-County and Neshaminy Falls toll plazas, as well as construction zones, he said.

A 100-mile section of the turnpike, between the Blue Mountain and Morgantown interchanges in the south-central part of the state, has been posted at 70 mph for a pilot study since July 2014.

"There's been no significant, even perceptible, increases in average speed and crash rates," DeFebo said. "So the commissioners decided we could safely implement it on the rest of the system."

A precise time frame for the shift to 70 mph statewide hasn't been settled.

More highways In Pennsylvania could also move to higher speed limits: PennDOT is conducting similar 70 mph studies on parts of Interstates 80 and 380.