COLUMBUS: The speed limit is increasing on some parts of U.S. and state routes throughout Ohio this weekend.
The changes take effect today on more than 600 miles of road in the state’s second round of speed-limit increases this year. Drivers should respect the current speed limits until new signs are posted, Ohio Department of Transportation spokeswoman Melissa Ayers said.
The legislation taking effect raises the speed limits to 70 mph on rural freeways, 60 mph on rural divided highways and 65 mph on rural expressways that don’t have traffic control signals.
Drivers will be able to zip down the road at 70 mph on Route 68 near Springfield, Route 2 through Erie County, Route 33 near Lancaster, and much of Route 11 between Ashtabula and Youngstown, among other affected areas.
The legislation also makes speed limits uniform for cars and trucks on a given roadway.
As a result, drivers on some roads may see the truck limit increase while the maximum legal speed for cars remains unchanged, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.
“Raising speed limits is not something the state takes lightly,” ODOT Director Jerry Wray said in a news release.
“We put much time and consideration into identifying roadways where speed limits could increase while maintaining a safe commute for Ohio motorists.”
The department said the changes require 1,100 new or replacement highway signs, most of which are expected to be installed by Friday.
Just over half of the signs are brand new; the rest will be placed over part of an existing sign. Making the signs cost the state about $115,000.
Three months ago, Ohio raised the speed limit for both cars and trucks to 70 mph on some rural interstate highways. Those changes affected 570 miles of interstate highway.
A 70 mph limit also is in place for the Ohio Turnpike along its full 241-mile route across northern Ohio.
Ohio is among 35 states that have a 70 mph limit posted on some roads.
Such speed-limit increases have been opposed by groups including the Ohio Insurance Institute, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and other groups that contend higher speeds are more dangerous.