Carrier group pushes for uniform speeds in ‘Slowhio’

| 2/3/2009

The Ohio Trucking Association has stepped up its effort to change the posted speed limit for trucks from 55 to 65 mph on interstate highways.

OTA President Larry Davis says highways are safest when traffic moves at a uniform speed.

“All you have to do is drive from here to Florida and see how much smoother traffic moves once you get out of Ohio and everyone’s going the same speed,” Davis told Land Line on Tuesday, Feb. 3.

“The association took the position several years ago. We just felt it would be safer if we had trucks running the same speed as cars.”

Officials with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association have pushed the safety issue with split speeds for years.

“Our reaction is yes, all traffic should be traveling at the same speed no matter what the speed is,” OOIDA Director of Regulatory Affairs Rick Craig said.

“The speed should be the same for all classes of vehicles. If it’s 75 mph or 45 mph, it should be the same.”

Previous attempts to increase the truck limit on Ohio highways were blocked by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The Ohio Trucking Association was previously “neutral” on the issue of split speeds until 2004. That same year, the Ohio Turnpike initiated a pilot program for a 65 mph truck limit only on the turnpike.

“We think that has set the precedent, and it’s a safe program that should be expanded,” Davis said.

Ohio has an interstate network that includes I-70, I-80, I-71, I-75 and I-77.

– By David Tanner, staff writer