Speed Limit Increase Would Be Dangerous

Editor, News-Register:

It was reported last Tuesday that the West Virginia Legislature is considering a proposal to have the Dept. of Transportation increase the speed limit on selected state highways. This is, in my opinion, simply wrong.

Just a few months ago I was traveling on I-79 between Morgantown and Clarksburg and witnessed three accidents in that 30-mile stretch of roadway. I am convinced that they were the result of excessive speed in the area.

How often do we read about accidents on Two-Mile Hill on I-70 and on I-470 in Ohio County, almost always due to excessive speed?

It has, for years, concerned me that the speed limit on some West Virginia highways (I-79 from Morgantown to Charleston and I-77 from Parkersburg to Charleston) was increased to 70 mph. I am not comfortable driving those roads at that speed, due to the hills and sharp turns and most motorists driving 75-80 mph.

It was almost humorous to hear a state legislator making a statement on the news regarding his support of the increased speed limit. His reasoning was centered around the idea that if motorists were driving at higher speeds they would use more gas, which would raise additional fuel tax revenue for the state of West Virginia. I’m pleased that he does not represent our district.

In summary, increasing speed limits on select highways to 75 or 80 mph would be a serious mistake and would only add to the high number of traffic accidents that we experience in West Virginia. If the limit is 80 mph it is certain that most motorists will travel at 85-90 mph and West Virginia highways are not safe at those speeds.

Tom Dailer