of eliminating the split speed limit in Ohio had their opportunity
to be heard Oct. 8 in Columbus, OH.
for the state patrol was Col. Paul McClellan, superintendent. He
told The Toledo Blade the patrol opposed a change in state
law because it would increase vehicle stopping distances. McClellan
also said that 74 percent of tickets issued to truckers were for
speeds of 66 mph and above and another 2,500 tickets were written
for speeds of 75 mph and above.
also cited that the number of trucks involved in fatal crashes in
the state have declined from 201 in 1995 to 161 in 2001.
testifying against eliminating the differential speed limit was
the Ohio Conference of AAA clubs and Columbus truck driver Robert
Vermatten. Vermatten said most trucks could run 65 mph now without
problems from the patrol.
has the fifth highest volume of truck traffic in the United States.
the amount of truck travel in our state, it is crucial that we implement
strategies that will continue to decrease accidents and protect
all motorists on Ohio’s roadways,” bill sponsor Rep. Bob Gibbs,
R-Lakeville, said in a recent statement. “Many states have a uniform
speed limit for cars and trucks and have seen a decrease in certain
types of accidents.”
patrol is using data to its maximum advantage,” said Todd Spencer,
executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers
Association. “And there’s a little spin involved, too.
instance, the 20 percent reduction in truck crashes did occur in
Ohio, but not really over the seven-year period they imply,” he
said. “Fatality accidents with truckers were pretty flat from 1993
through 1999. Truck accidents went down in the state 20 percent
in 2000 and 2001. The split speed limit was in effect during all
more likely reason is economic activity,” Spencer said. “The years
2000 and 2001 were pretty tough for truckers. Many trucks were repossessed.
Other trucks were parked because of the slow economy.
the patrol squeezes all the mileage possible out of truck stopping
distances,” he said. “While it is certainly true that truck stopping
distances increase as the truck goes faster, it is also true that
cars are three to four times more likely to run into the backs of
trucks. And no one is talking about stopping distances for cars.”