Truck speeds boosted on Ohio Turnpike

| 9/10/2004

Starting today, truckers on the Ohio Turnpike have the OK to increase the speed to 65 mph, the same as all other vehicles.

At the urging of Gov. Bob Taft, the Ohio Turnpike Commission voted unanimously Aug. 23 to increase the speed limit for large trucks from 55 mph in hopes of getting truck drivers off overloaded two-lane roads and back onto the toll road.

Truck traffic began spilling over to smaller roads after an 82 percent toll increase took effect in 1999.

“By moving trucks to the turnpike, we will reduce the truck traffic on these smaller routes, improve safety and shrink congestion levels that often gridlock many of our northern Ohio communities,” Taft said in a statement.

The commission also approved cutting the turnpike’s share of diesel sale revenue to enable fuel stops along the route to offer diesel up to 11 cents a gallon cheaper than nearby stations, Lauren Dehrmann, turnpike spokeswoman, said.

The cheaper diesel is expected to be available to truckers Oct. 1.

“Additional incentives for truckers are being discussed between the Ohio Turnpike Commission and the Ohio Department of Transportation,” said Dehrmann. “They plan to have some type of proposal drafted by the end of September that might include a reduction in tolls or a fuel rebate.”

– by Keith Goble, state legislative editor