Ohio speeds set to increase to 70 mph on July 1

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 6/28/2013

On Monday, July 1, truckers and others traveling on Ohio’s rural interstates can legally travel 70 mph. In Illinois, a new law gets tough with the state’s worst-of-the-worst speeders.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich approved the 5-mph increase, up from 65 mph, in April as part of the state’s transportation budget bill. The change brings Ohio in line with 24 other states that authorize all vehicles to travel at least 70 mph.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has released a map identifying the roadways around the state that are affected. New speeds are authorized on 570 of 1,332 miles of rural interstates.

Affected stretches include:

  • Interstate 70 from the Indiana border to the Wheeling area, excluding Dayton, Columbus and Zanesville;
  • Interstate 71 from the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge to the Cuyahoga/Medina County line, excluding Columbus;
  • Interstate 75 from just outside Toledo to north of Dayton, excluding Findlay and Lima;
  • Interstate 76 from just outside Akron to west of Youngstown;
  • Interstate 77 from outside Canton to the West Virginia border; and
  • Interstate 90 from outside Cleveland to the Pennsylvania border.

ODOT plans to unveil 317 new signs to alert travelers in the affected areas to the speed change. According to the agency, the signage is expected to be in place and revealed on Monday.

Speed changes in the Buckeye State are common in recent years. In 2009, truck speeds were increased from 55 mph to 65 mph on rural interstates – the same as other vehicles. In 2011, the Ohio Turnpike implemented a 70 mph limit.

In Illinois, a new rule takes effect to remove the option of court supervision from drivers who break the posted speed limit by more than 25 mph on local roads and 30 mph on highways.

Intended to reduce instances of reckless driving, Illinois law now prohibits judges from issuing court supervision to anyone found guilty of driving at least 40 mph in excess of the speed limit. Exceeding the speed limit by 40 mph could result in a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Supervisions allow speeds to pay a fine and, in some instances, attend traffic school to avoid having violations added to their driving record.

The new law takes the option of court supervision away from drivers who break the posted speed limit by more than 25 mph on local roads and 30 mph on highways.

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