Increase the speed limit on Northern Virginia I495, I95, and I66

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The 55 mph speed limit was well-intentioned. It was enacted during the oil shortages of the 1970s, and it was hoped that this law would improve safety as well as reduce fuel consumption. However, good intentions aren’t good enough; and in this case, the problem is that few drivers actually obey these artificially low speed limits.

Our roads are newer - our cars are better - and now, the surprising truth is that artificially low speed limits actually make roads less safe.

Research shows that the speed limit has little effect on how fast people drive. Traffic engineers have tried all kinds of tricks — flashing lights, pink signs, cute speed limits such as 48 instead of 50 — and they all work only for a week or two until the novelty wears off.

It is therefore critical that we increase the speed limit on our interstate highways in order to reduce unsafe variations in speed. Let’s put some trust in our drivers, Virginia: Our state's laws should not make people choose between what is legal and what is safe.

Bottom line: Our highways should have a speed limit of 70 MPH.



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