The Ohio speed limit increase takes effect today. On many of the interstate highways throughout the state, drivers will notice that the old 65 MPH signs have been replaced with 70 MPH signs. Whether or not the speed limit will be changed on a given stretch of highway depends in large part on how rural or urban the area is. In more congested areas near the big cities, the speed limits are not changing. However, once drivers get outside of the major metropolitan areas, they will start to notice that the signs go up and up from 55 in some urban areas, to 60, to 65, and then to 70 in the most rural areas.
There are of course mixed reactions to the speed limit increase. Some believe that it will be good for long-distance commuters, business, and the economy to get people to where they are going quicker. Others feel that the speed increase will cause a spike in the amount and severity of car accidents. Time will tell whether the speed limit increase pans out as a positive or a negative.
One thing is for sure: in Ohio, we still do not drive nearly as fast as the drivers in Texas. In late 2012, the state of Texas increased the speed limit to 85 MPH on a 41-mile stretch of road between Austin and San Antonio. The road is long, straight, and wide, and advocates say that the high speed limit has greatly helped to shorten the amount of time it takes to drive between the two cities. Foes say that 85 is far too fast because drivers regularly drive 5 or 10 miles over the limit, thus bringing the speed closer to 100 MPH.
In any event, by way of comparison, Ohio’s decision is raise the speed limit to 70 on rural stretches is tame compared to our friends in Texas.
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