Ohio looking to boost road safety with possible speed limit change

Statewide target of high-crash roads with 70 mph limit is in DOT crosshairs

November 27, 2017
Ohio looking to boost road safety with possible speed limit change

In an effort to reduce crashes on its state highways and generally increase driver safety, the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) are conducting an analysis of high-crash roads throughout the state that have 70 mph speed limits.

This analysis is taking place as a result of a recent report that found a sharp increase in road accidents after the state speed limit was raised from 65 mph in 2013.

An OSHP report has found that there has been a 24% increase in crashes on 70-mph roads, within which is a 22% rise in fatal and severe-injury crashes.

According to OSHP, state troopers will focus on stretches of I-70 in Licking County east of Columbus, I-71 in Ashland County in northern Ohio and U.S. 33 in Union County northwest of Columbus. Among the violations they are targeting are aggressive driving, including following too closely; improper passing; speeding; safety belt violations; distracted driving; and driving while impaired.

“Roadway safety is a shared responsibility,” said OSHP Spokesman Lt. Robert Sellers.

OSHP has suggested it may also test a reduction to 65 mph in a fourth targeted area.

Ohio, it seems, is not alone in this concern. Last year a Wisconsin report found that fatalities, injuries and accidents were on the rise since the state raised the speed limit to 70 mph on most interstate highways in 2015.