Rendell says he still feels need for speed

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HARRISBURG -- Gov. Ed Rendell acknowledged that his state-police chauffeured car sometimes exceeds the speed limit, even though the administration instituted a policy three years ago ordering his drivers to abide by it except in emergencies.

"Sometimes we adhere to the speed limit, sometimes we don't," Mr. Rendell said yesterday. "On many of Pennsylvania's highways, if you adhered to the speed limit, you'd be a safety hazard."

State police spokesman Jack Lewis disagreed.

"We believe the posted speed limit provides the highest level of safety for all traffic," Mr. Lewis said in an e-mail to The Patriot-News of Harrisburg.

Mr. Rendell made his comments after he was asked whether a crash that injured New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine has caused him to slow down. A state trooper was driving Mr. Corzine's vehicle at 91 mph when it was clipped by a truck and lost control April 12 on the Garden State Parkway, slamming into a guard rail.

"I've told my troopers that I don't want them exceeding 80 unless they need to pass or unless there's some real exigent circumstance," Mr. Rendell said.

Mr. Corzine also was not wearing a seat belt, but Mr. Rendell said he always buckles up.

In March 2004, the Philadelphia Daily News reported that turnpike troopers had clocked Mr. Rendell's Cadillac at speeds of more than 100 mph nine times since November 2003. Mr. Rendell ordered a state police investigation that led to the new speeding policy.


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