Crews install 70 mph speed limit signs on Interstate 295 near Richmond.
(Trevor Wrayton, VDOT)
A 27-mile stretch of Interstate 295 near Richmond will be the first section of Virginia interstate where motorists will be able to legally travel 70 mph. The law changing the limit from 65 went into effect Thursday. The stretch of highway runs east of Richmond to I-295's southern intersection with I-95 near Petersburg.
Others sections may follow, said Virginia Department of Transportation spokesman Jeff Caldwell.
There are 741 miles of interstate eligible for study for higher speeds depending on analyses of road characteristics, prevailing traffic speeds and crash data, he said.
And watch out on those new 70 mph stretches. State troopers and other police agencies won't be as forgiving of people exceeding the higher posted speed.
The law also reduces to just 11 mph the margin between the legal speed limit and a reckless driving citation with a mandatory court appearance, prohibitive fines and possible jail time. State law defines any driver going 81 mph or more as reckless.
-- Associated Press