Testimony of Richard Chambers

| 6/11/2003

Owner-operator and OOIDA member
Senate Bill 94
Before the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee
June 10, 2003

Chairman Armbruster, members of the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee, my name is Dick Chambers and my wife and I operate two companies in West Central Ohio. One company is Midwest ICFs, which sells and distributes insulating concrete forms throughout the United States, and the other is our trucking company, Long Hard Struggle LLC. My ’99 Freightliner is plated for 38 states and has 441,000 miles at the present time. I am a lifetime member of Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

I’m here to support the passage of Senate Bill 94 and give the members of the committee a sense of how I and other truck drivers select the routes we drive.

First, I’d like to agree with the earlier witnesses regarding the effect that uniform speed limits would have here in Ohio. Traffic traveling at the same rate of speed on our interstate system would reduce vehicle interaction, tailgating and unnecessary congestion, all of which are more likely to reduce accidents. Trucks traveling at a lower speed limit are more apt to cause driving problems for other travelers, rather than reduce problems, as would be the case if all traffic were moving at the same speed.

Also, by raising the limits on the major interstate systems the state would give truck drivers a greater incentive to drive on the safest roads in Ohio. Our interstate highways have limited access, are wider, have banked curves and as many of you know, were designed for speeds in excess of 65 mph.

I routinely travel across the state to pick up and deliver my forms and other dry freight. I can take the Turnpike, state Route 30, 33 or Interstate 70. Currently, when eastbound, I choose to take Route 30. If the law allowed me to drive 65 mph on the Turnpike or I-70, I can say without hesitation that I would choose those routes. I believe that driving 65 on the Turnpike or I-70 would be less stressful and safer than traveling 55 on Route 30, not only for myself and other truckers but for the traveling public as well. I also believe that raising the limit to 65 on the major routes would have the effect of decreasing truck traffic density somewhat by allowing them to get to their destinations earlier.

Mr. Chairman, member’s of the committee. Senate Bill 94 is good for all of Ohio drivers and everyone who travels Ohio roads. It promotes safety and reduces vehicle interaction. The bill will also reduce congestion and truck traffic on the state routes and through Ohio communities. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.