Ohio increases speed limit on 600 miles of U.S. and state highways

| 9/30/2013

The state of Ohio is installing signs this week to mark new speed limits on 607 miles of rural U.S. and state highways, expressways and freeways. The new limits took effect Sunday, Sept. 29, as part of a law that increased speed limits on 570 miles of Ohio interstates in July.

Crews hoped to have new signs in place by Friday, Oct. 4. Those signs will mark 398 miles of rural freeways at 70 mph instead of 65 mph; 194 miles of rural divided highway at 60 mph instead of 55 mph; and 15 miles of rural expressways without traffic control signals at 65 mph.

Significant to truckers, the law signed by Gov. John Kasich in April emphasizes uniform speed limits among trucks and cars. That led to speed-limit increases for trucks in some areas while the limits for cars went unchanged, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

“The legislation also establishes uniformity in speed limits for both cars and truck so that each vehicle is permitted to go the same speed on any Ohio roadway,” ODOT stated in a press release Friday. “In order to comply with the legislation, speed limits on some roadways may stay the same for cars, but will increase for trucks.”

This week’s change marks the second part of the Buckeye State’s new speed law.

On July 1, the speed limit on rural interstate highways increased from 65 mph to 70 mph, matching the 70 mph limit on the 241-mile Ohio Turnpike.

Click here for a map of speed-limit increases in Ohio.

Speed limits of 70 mph are now common in 35 states, at least for cars on rural interstate highways. Seven states operate with a speed differential among cars and trucks ranging from 5 mph in Arkansas to 15 mph in California.

OOIDA supports uniform speed limits for cars and trucks as a matter of highway safety. The Association actively opposes split speeds.

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