600 miles of state highways likely to see speed limits increase - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Higher speed limits may come to roadways near you

COLUMBUS, OH (Toledo News Now) -

For the second time this year, speed limits on some Ohio roadways are about to increase - this time on certain sections of U.S. and state routes.

The Ohio Department of Transportation is increasing speed limits on 607 miles of roadway, as a result of new legislation passed by the Ohio General Assembly earlier this year, which becomes effective Sept. 29.

The legislation increases speeds on:

  • 194 miles of "rural divided highways" to 60 mph
  • 15 miles of "rural expressways without traffic control signals" to 65 mph
  • 398 miles of "rural freeways" to 70 mph

"Raising speed limits is not something the state takes lightly," said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. "We put much time and consideration into identifying roadways where speed limits could increase, while maintaining a safe commute for Ohio motorists."

The legislative changes require ODOT to produce 1,100 new highway signs at a cost of $114,845, which includes materials and labor. A total of 580 signs will be completely new and placed along the roadway, while 520 signs are simply overlays to cover a portion of an existing speed limit sign. Most of the signs are expected to be fully installed and visible to motorists by Oct. 4.

View regional maps highlighting speed limit changes.

The legislation also establishes uniformity in speed limits for both cars and trucks, so each vehicle is permitted to go the same speed on any Ohio roadway. In order to comply with the legislation, speed limits on some roadways may stay the same for cars, but will increase for trucks.

Speed limits of 70 mph are not new to Ohio. On July 1, speed limits on 570 miles of rural Ohio interstates increased from 65 to 70 mph for cars and trucks. Additionally, motorists were already legally permitted to drive 70 mph on all 241 miles of the Ohio Turnpike.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 34 other states in the nation have posted speed limits of 70 mph or higher, including Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and West Virginia.

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