Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ohio drivers may soon be able to put the pedal a bit more to the metal on rural highways

Speed limits may be going up on rural highways in Ohio. Senators signed off on a proposal to increase the speed limit to 70 m.p.h. on rural interstate highways. The measure was added to a highway funding bill, reports Tom Breckenridge of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland.

The higher speed limit would apply to interstate freeways outside of urban areas, such as parts of Interstates 75, 70 and 71, writes Laura A. Bischoff of the Dayton Daily News. The limit on outerbelts in urban areas would be 65 and the speed limit would be 55 on interstates deemed congested by the state Department of Transportation.

Thirty-four states have raised limits to 70 or higher on some roads since 1995, writes Bischoff. We reported in 2011 that Kansas has raised speed limits to 75 on some roads. Texas has speed limits of 85 on certain roads and Utah has some with 80, according to the National Motorists Association.

Ohio lawmakers have pushed for the higher limits for years, but the idea faces opposition from environmental groups that say higher speeds reduce fuel efficiency and insurance groups that say it’ll increase danger on the roadways, reports Bischoff. A map from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows maximum posted daytime speed limits on rural interstates.

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