the Ohio Turnpike Commission announced it wanted to bring toll-weary
truckers back to the road, it didn’t take one lawmaker long to tell
the state agency how to do it.
don’t need to spend $250,000 of taxpayer’s money to tell us the
obvious,” state Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville, wrote in a letter to
Gary Suhadolnik, executive director of the Turnpike Commission.
“Requiring trucks to drive the same speed on both the Turnpike and
secondary roads is an incentive not to use the Turnpike, plus make
them pay to do so.”
would any business pay to use a service when they can receive practically
the same service at lower cost?” Gibbs added.
raised tolls by 82 percent in 1995 to pay for work on toll plazas, The Associated Press reported. Ever since then, truck traffic
– and toll revenue – has sunk on the turnpike, while truck traffic
on smaller roads – and complaints from towns near the toll road
– have skyrocketed.
prompted state officials to seek $250,000 in federal money to pay
for most of a study on how to lure the trucks back, The Toledo
Blade reported recently.
is the sponsor of HB186, a bill that would eliminate the split speed
limit in Ohio. The bill has found support from such sources as OOIDA
and Julie Cirillo, former chief safety officer of the Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Administration.
his letter, Gibbs stressed that with split speed limits, the Turnpike
offers little allure to truckers.
is abundantly clear to many people why the Ohio Turnpike is not
used by truckdrivers, whom it is designed for,” Gibbs wrote. “The
turnpike is not responsive to the needs of truckdrivers.
pay high tolls to drive the same speed they can on U.S. 20,” he
continued. “Since I introduced this piece of legislation in May,
my office has been bombarded with phone calls from professional
truckdrivers who tell me that they believe this (ending the split
speed) is a great idea.”