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State highway speed limits likely to increase PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, September 28, 2013 12:08 AM

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COLUMBUS — For the second time this year, speed limits on some Ohio roadways are about to go up, this time on certain sections of U.S. routes and state routes. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is increasing some speed limits on 607 miles of roadway as a result of new legislation passed by the Ohio General Assembly earlier this year, which becomes effective on Sunday.

The legislation increases speeds on:

• Rural divided highways to 60 miles per hour (194 miles of roadway);

• Rural expressways without traffic control signals to 65 miles per hour (15 miles of roadway); and

• Rural freeways to 70 miles per hour (398 miles of roadway).

“Raising speed limits is not something the state takes lightly,” ODOT Director Jerry Wray said. “We put much time and consideration into identifying roadways where speed limits could increase while maintaining a safe commute for Ohio motorists.”

The legislative changes require ODOT to produce 1100 new highway signs at a cost of $114,845. Most of the signs – 580 – will be completely new and placed along the roadway, while the rest – 520 – are simply overlays that will cover a portion of an existing speed limit sign. The costs include materials and labor for producing the new signs. Most signs are expected to be fully installed and visible to motorists by Friday.

Here is a link to regional maps highlighting changes to speed limits as required by the legislation: dot.state.oh.us/Divisions/Operations/Traffic/miscellaneous/Pages/Speed-Increase-Maps-9-2013.aspx

The legislation also establishes uniformity in speed limits for both cars and truck so that each vehicle is permitted to go the same speed on any Ohio roadway. In order to comply with the legislation, speed limits on some roadways may stay the same for cars but will increase for trucks.

Seventy-mile-per-hour speed limits are not new to Ohio. On July 1, speed limits on 570 miles of rural Ohio interstates increased from 65 to 70 for both cars and trucks. Motorists were already legally permitted to drive 70 on all 241 miles of the Ohio Turnpike.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 34 other states in the nation have some posted speed limits of 70 or higher, including Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and West Virginia.

 

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