State agencies say 70mph speed limit to blame for increase in crashes

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio State Highway Patrol wants to reduce the number of severe crashes on roadways where the speed limit is 70mph.

Three sections of Ohio highways were recently targeted for increased enforcement because they have all seen an increase in crashes since the speed limit was raised to 70mph in 2013.

A report put together by the Departments of Public Safety and Transportation made several recommendations on how crashes could be reduced in those areas; increased enforcement was one way to accomplish this.

Lt Robert Sellers with the highway patrol released a statement on the report which reads in part.

While the last six years have been the safest ever on Ohio’s roads, there are always areas of the state where we want people to know crashes are occurring.

Another recommended step being heeded will be to use media to reach drivers; signs and billboards will be used and radio advertising spots will be purchased to promote the effort to have drivers reduce their speeds.

In the meantime, speed data will be collected in the areas that will see increased enforcement to see if the effort is working on reducing speeds.

The areas being targeted will be between mileposts 120-124 on I-70 in Licking County; between mileposts 180-184 on I-71 in Ashland County; and between mileposts 20-24 on U.S. 33 in Union County.

The enforcement and media blitz will go on for six months after which crash data will be compiled to see what effect the effort had.

A recommendation to reduce the speed limit on an unnamed section of highway from 70 to 60mph, while not increasing enforcement beyond the normal amount, is not currently being planned according to the Department of Transportation.

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