Recently, the Ohio Legislature passed a new amendment changing the current speed limit on the Ohio Turnpike from 65 miles per hour to 70 mph. This speed limit increase goes into effect on April 1, 2011 for all motorists including commercial truck drivers. In one of our previous blog posts last week, we reported that many individuals oppose this speed limit hike as they believe it will increase the number of car and truck accident on the Turnpike.
“Heeding Chairman Joseph Balog’s advice that the increase would attract more cars, and especially trucks, from parallel two-lane roads, a 4-1 majority of the Ohio Turnpike Commission approved the 5-mph hike Monday morning.” The Chairman “compared the safety risk of slightly higher speeds on the turnpike with the 110-mph closing speed of opposing vehicles that pass “just two feet apart” on two-lane roads.”
Opponents of the change claim that these new speeds will cause more car and truck accidents to occur. Even the trucking association chimed in expressing, “the higher limit would not attract truckers who regulate their speed to save fuel, and suggested a fare cut to lure more commercial vehicles to the toll road.”
According to reports, a truck traveling the speed limit over the turnpike’s full 241 miles would save about 16 minutes under the new speed limit. “Turnpike speed surveys show, however, that the speed limit is widely disregarded. In October and November, Ohio State Highway Patrol aerial surveys logged average turnpike speeds of 74.5 and 74.8 mph, respectively, for private passenger vehicles and of 66.3 and 66.1 mph, respectively, for commercial vehicles.”