Higher Speed Limits May be Coming to a Roadway Near You
More than 600 miles of state highways likely to see speed limits increase
COLUMBUS (Friday, September 20, 2013) – 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, September 29.
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)
· “Rural freeways” to 70 miles per hour (398 miles of roadway)
“Raising speed limits is not something the state takes lightly,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “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 of the signs are expected to be fully installed and visible to motorists by Friday, October 4.
A link to regional maps highlighting changes to speed limits as required by the legislation is available here.
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 miles per hour for both cars and trucks. Motorists were already legally permitted to drive 70 miles per hour on all 241 miles of the Ohio Turnpike. And according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 34 other states in the nation have some posted speed limits of 70 miles per hour or higher including Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and West Virginia.
For more information, contact: Melissa Ayers, ODOT Communications Director, at 614-644-8640, Melissa.Ayers@dot.state.oh.us.