Gov. Bob McDonnell told reporters this week that it was his wife Maureen’s fascination with driving at high speeds that was the primary catalyst behind the speed limit increase on some Virginia highways to 70 miles per hour.
The announcement sheds new light on the specific reasons behind the speed limit increase as well as the driving habits of Maureen McDonnell, who recently announced a campaign aimed at helping families of deployed members of the Armed Forces and is known in her street-racing team as “Mad Mo.”
“From my first day on the job, Maureen was on my back to raise speed limits wherever I could,” Gov. McDonnell said, adding that the First Lady has long been a proponent of the prevention of childhood obesity, as well as drifting automobiles. “Honestly, she was pushing for limits in the triple digits, but we had to be reasonable.”
The bill, signed by the Governor in March, changes the speed limit from 65 to 70 mph on 680 miles of Virginia highways. The new speed limit was passed after a traffic engineering study was completed to ensure safety and feasibility and that McDonnell’s wife would indeed have enough faster straightaways to open up her custom 1998 Honda Civic on the interstates.
Purchased late last year, the two-door coupe was specially made for the First Lady and fitted with nearly $4,000 worth of ground effects, a new intake manifold, a high rear spoiler, a Ti-C Cat-Back Exhaust System, an adjustable fuel pressure regulator, a set of 19-inch chrome rims, and TVs in the headrests for the children.
“The plan to increase speed on state highways will shorten commute times and allow traffic to move at a more consistent speed,” said Gov. McDonnell, standing alongside his wife as she revved the engine on her brand new 998cc Ninja ZX-10R motorcycle. “And my wife is so pumped about it that she went out and bought some new [Bridgestone] Battlaxes for her Kawasaki, so she’s ready to tear up some asphalt.”
Gov. McDonnell also purchased a high-end stereo system for his wife’s car, so that she can play her favorite songs from Limp Bizkit, Saliva and all 17 tracks on the 2 Fast 2 Furious soundtrack.