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Ohio Highway Speed Limit Could Rise to 70MPH

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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From 10tv.com:

Bill Would Raise Ohio’s Top Speed Limit To 70 MPH

Ohio lawmakers planned to begin debating a bill on Wednesday to raise Ohio’s speed limit to 70 mph on certain roads. If passed, Ohio would join 32 other states that have raised the speed limit to 70 mph or higher.

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  • I say, “Yay!”

  • 10 more mph to go and im legal!

  • kessler

    Just 10?
    only if they could arc the curves more like they do on some racetracks you’d be set!   ;-)

    This is my normal cruising rate anyway, though cleveland or cincy bound I average about 80. (For any law enforcement reading “I swear my average is actually 64.9) ;-)

  • somertimeoh

    I’m with ya, Sherm!  I always love getting out of OH when I’m driving back to Texas so that I’m only over 10mph instead of 15 :)

  • gramarye

    Speed limits only exist to give slowpokes an excuse to get on my nerves. :-D 8-)

  • misskitty

    YAY I like 70 ! I  like 75 more but will settle for 70.

  • columbusdreamer

    why have a limit anyway.  I was going 81 the other day on 315 and I didnt even get a ticket. I was going through penn. at about 80 or so and the cop told me to keep around 75 and agian no ticket.  (I dont know why they dont give me tickets sometimes but I do thank God(had to cover that))  If everyone drives the same speed 80 90 or 100  you wouldnt know the difference. Its true or my physics classes was BS!

  • I’m on board with 70 in certain areas. There’s a lot of road between Columbus and Cincinnati that is straight, open, flat, and has few exits. 65 feels like a crawl in those conditions.

    That being said, I thought the photo choice for this article on 10TV’s site was a little odd. The 71/70 split? They’re not going to increase the speed limit there. :P

  • Analogue Kid

    This would be great! Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia all have 70 mph limits for cars on rural interstates. I haven’t heard of or experienced any major problems because of it.

    The highway patrol response always causes me facepalmage. Sure, speed may be a factor in a lot of crashes, but that doesn’t really tell us much. First off, somebody could have been going 120 mph and crashed or alternatively they were going 55 mph (a supposedly "safe" speed) in a snowstorm and slid off the road into a tree. Both are "speed related" They’ve never said definitively that going 70 mph in a 65 zone caused a crash. Really they’re just concerned about revenue generation since an artificially low speed limit causes more people to "speed" and thus helps their budget.

    Historically the speed limit on the interstates in Ohio was 70, so we’re just returning to the pre-1974 limit. I really hope this passes.

  • walker i thought that too, they average 3 crashes a day on the split, if anything it needs to go from 55 to 35. ODOT theres your solution! now save that 1.6 billion and lets get some freaking trains rolling around here.

  • gramarye

    Hah!  I didn’t make that connection, Walker, but that’s true … that’s either just unintentional on the part of the Dispatch, or a subtle dig at the proposal.  The 70-71 split is the last place in this state where anyone should be thinking about raising speed limits.  I was thinking more of the endless stretch of I-77 between Canton and Cambridge, or between Cambridge and, say, Pickerington.  There have been times when I was literally the only car in sight going in my direction between Uhrichsville and Cambridge.

  • B_C_B

    Does anyone have a good argument why the speed should not be increased?

  • irresistiblue

    Driving slower is more efficient as air resistance grows exponentially; aerodynamic drag is proportional to the square of an object’s velocity. So while drag may not be very significant at city speeds, it increases rapidly as your speed on the highway increases.  I drive 60 for this reason.

  • The stats I’ve seen are around 2-4 MPG lost when you change from 65 to 70, so I’m not really sweat that.  Additionally, saw a stat recently that only like 15% of your fuel is actually used to drive the car, the rest burned up in idling and inefficiencies.

  • There are two reasons I think this would be pretty safe:
    1. Outside of central cities, the curves on interstates are generally designed for 70 MPH.  And those curve radii are based on very old tests done to measure tire friction at different speeds.  I think the performance of cars and tires have increased quite a bit by then.  So really it’s 70 MPH in the rain with a crap car.
    2. The standard deviation of speeds on a highway is more significant than speed itself in predicting the number of crashes.  However, speed does play a role in the severity of crashes.

    I think the fuel economy loss is probably the best argument against it.

  • I’m all for 70 and then some.

  • From The Dispatch:

  • Take2

    Why should we be focusing on something so trivial in these “tough economical times.”  Has anyone even begun to analyze how many millions of dollars will need to go into producing the new 70mph signage.  And let’s not forget about the labor costs associated with installing this new signage.

    Now I just received a speeding ticket last week and would’ve welcomed the break.  However, big picture it seems that we should be focusing on more cost effective items that create long term jobs.

  • take 3…..

  • No matter what the issue, or what day it is… someone always plays the “there’s better things to spend money on” card. ;)

  • A better break would have been not speeding at all. Think of the money saved. 

    I love that many of the surrounding states had a difference between urban and rural interstate speeds. That would probably answer the 70/71 split questions. 

  • B_C_B

    irresistiblue Says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 8:24 pm
    Driving slower is more efficient as air resistance grows exponentially; aerodynamic drag is proportional to the square of an object’s velocity. So while drag may not be very significant at city speeds, it increases rapidly as your speed on the highway increases.  I drive 60 for this reason.

    I appreciate your extremely fact based post (I’m a former engineer).  To continue with this spirit I’d like to ask, does this translate to a significant gas/$ savings for you, and if so can you quantify the $ amount/mile.

  • When I drive from Chicago to Columbus, I often take US-30 (60 MPH speed limit) instead of I-65 and I-70, which have 70 MPH speed limits.  The route is more direct and I personally find it to be less boring, even though it’s less safe.

    Anyway, I tend to drive about 2-3 MPH over the speed limit on either route, assuming weather conditions are good.  In general, my Civic gets about 38 mpg on the US-30 route (and that includes stops at traffic signals) and 34 or 35 mpg on the interstates.  So it’s a noticeable difference.

  • NerosNeptune

    “And let’s not forget about the labor costs associated with installing this new signage.”

    You call it labor costs, someone else calls it a job.

  • irresistiblue

    B_C_B, thanks for your question, I appreciate your desire for more specific information regarding my specific situation.  I can concur similar to johnwirtz’s fuel efficiency as I have a Honda civic and I get 40 mpg going 60 mph (6.25 cents/mile, based on $2.50 per gallon), and about 34 mpg going 70 mph (7.36 cents/mile)
    Also, more information is provided at the link below from Consumer Reports:
     (from http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/tires-auto-parts/car-maintenance/get-the-most-mileage-for-your-fuel-dollars-406/)
    “The best way to burn less fuel is to buy a car that gets better gas mileage. But our tests with a Toyota Camry and other vehicles show there are ways to minimize what you spend at the pump with your current car.

    Drive at a moderate speed. This is the biggest factor. You may have to be a little patient, but driving at 55 mph instead of 65 or 75 will save you money. When we increased the Camry’s highway cruising speed from 55 mph to 65, the car’s fuel economy dropped from 40 mpg to 35. Speeding up to 75 mph cost the car another 5 mpg. One reason is that aerodynamic drag increases exponentially the faster you drive; it simply takes more fuel to power the car through the air.”

    That said, per Consumer Reports when driving a Toyota Camry, 55 mph versus 75 is 33% more efficient.   World crude oil demand grew about 21% from 1994 to the historic high in 2006 (http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/analysis_publications/oil_market_basics/demand_text.htm#Global%20Oil%20Consumption) and world demand for oil is projected to increase 37% over 2006 levels by 2030, according to the 2007 U.S. Energy Information Administration’s annual report.  It seems to me that we could easily decrease oil demand by driving slower on highways… this has occurred in the past; in 1974 a national maximum speed limit of 55 mph was imposed through the emergeny highway energy conservation act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Highway_Energy_Conservation_Act#Enactment)

    So, in the spirit of translating savings, I’d admit that for me specfically the immediate monetary savings at current gas prices is not worth driving slower for my specific situation.  I would like to add that it’s more than just out-of-pocket money.  For me, I just don’t think it is a big deal to sacrifice a small amount of time in order to gain efficiency, although I do realize that not every body has this desire or luxury.  For me specifically, driving an average of 70 mph would take 12 minutes to get to work while driving an average of 60 mph would take 14 minutes to get to work, a difference of 2 minutes.  It’s my eco-conscious attitude that leads me to believe that it’s simply better for me to drive slower (whose value is harder to derive); it’s worth the small sacrifice.  Plus, while driving slower, I don’t have to compete with traffic. That said, if I am driving rather long distances, it’s just not worth my time to drive slow, I drive around 70 mph if I’m going for more than 3 hours.
    I should add that I’ve been meaning to start taking COTA in order to reduce fuel consumption… I’m just lame and haven’t given it a try yet.

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