April 17, 2014

Mostly sunny

Speed limit raised to 70 on some highways

More than 300 new signs, like this one on Interstate 71 north of Medina, alert motorists that, as of Monday, the speed limit has been raised to 70 mph along Ohio’s rural interstate highways. The higher limits apply to 570 miles of parts of six interstates. For Interstate 71, motorists will be able to go faster from just south of the Brunswick city limits all the way to the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge north of Columbus. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY LOREN GENSON)

Faster speeds

Motorists also will be able to go 70 mph on the following sections of other interstates:

• I-76, from just outside Akron east to just west of Youngstown.
• I-77, from just outside of Canton south to the West Virginia border.
• I-90, from just outside of Cleveland to the Pennsylvania border.
• I-70, from the Indiana border in the west to just outside of Wheeling, W.Va., in the east, excluding Dayton, Columbus and Zanesville.
• I-75, from just outside of Toledo going south until just north of Dayton, excluding Findlay and Lima.

The speed limit is going up to 70 mph on other rural Ohio freeways later this year. Gov. John Kasich on Sunday signed an amendment to the state budget bill authorizing the increase.

State transportation officials pointed out that the higher speed limit is not new to Ohio: Motorists on all 241 miles of the Ohio Turnpike already can drive 70 mph.

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

For a map of the new limits on the interstates, go to www.dot.state.oh.us/news/Documents/70-MPH-Map.pdf.

  • dymaxion

    This is idiotic. The 55 mph speed limit was found to save lives and resources. Why is it suddenly so important to raise speed limits.

  • DukeGanote

    70-mph is a step forward toward improving safety. Of the twenty-or-so traffic deaths weekly in Ohio, only one occurs on a rural interstate — so most weekends are fatality-free on (now) 70-mph roads. Most long holiday weekends no one dies on a rural interstate either — so now the Patrol should be able to start shifting emphasis toward crash-prone locations. nnRural interstates have the LOWEST fatality rate among rural roads (just 0.54 compared to rates of 1.50 to 3.87 deaths per 100-million-travel-miles elsewhere). Rural superhighways accounted for less than 5% of Ohio’s traffic deaths. And they have the lowest rate of so-called “speed related” crashes! nnThat’s why we build interstates: improved safety, fuel efficiency, and travel times by eliminating the common causes of crashes: intersections, opposing traffic in-the-next-lane, sharp curves, and roadside obstacles like trees and telephone poles. nnhttp://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2011/fi30.cfm– fatality rates by State and road type nhttp://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2011/fi10.cfm — fatalities by State and road type nhttp://ntl.bts.gov/lib/23000/23100/23121/12SpeedCountsNumbers.pdf — Low speeding crash rates on interstates

  • DukeGanote

    ?? “…fatal accident rates on rural Interstate highways posted at 65 mph or rural non-Interstate highways posted at 55 mph had not significantly changed after the implementation of the 65-mph speed limit” — that’s straight out of the 1992 study “Effects of the 65-mph Speed Limit on Accidents in Ohio” nhttp://pubsindex.trb.org/view.aspx?id=371649

  • dymaxion

    So now Ohio decides to up the ante by increasing speed limits even more. Figures in a state dumb enough to legalize gambling

  • DukeGanote

    That sentiment helps keep the majority of citizen-taxpayers illegal: according to the Patrol, the average automobile speed on the Turnpike is 74-mph, so the limit should be at least 75-mph.