Watch a previous NBC4 report from March 17, 2023 about lawmakers’ proposal to increase the speed limit on some state roads
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohio lawmakers have slammed the brakes on a proposal to raise the speed limit on some state roads.
The Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday stripped an amendment from the state’s two-year transportation budget that would have increased the speed limit from 55 to 60 mph on two-lane state routes outside of cities and villages – one day after Gov. Mike DeWine signaled his opposition to the speed change.
“The data clearly shows that if we increase the speed limit, even 5 mph, there will be people who die in Ohio, who would not have died if we keep the speed limit where it is today,” DeWine said Tuesday.
The last time Ohio made a change to roadway speed limits was in 2013, when state lawmakers passed a bill to raise the speed limit from 65 to 70 mph on interstate highways outside urban areas.
Between 1993 and 2017, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that a 5 mph increase to the speed limit was associated with an 8% increase in deaths on U.S. interstates and freeways, and a 3% increase in deaths on other roads.
“Higher speed limits can yield societal benefits through reduced travel time, but there is a price to pay in terms of additional lives lost,” the IIHS study said. “Those responsible for managing the roadway system must recognize and carefully consider this trade-off before deciding to increase speed limits.”
In Ohio, speeding accounted for about 11% of the 30,002 total crashes that occurred in 2022, according to the State Highway Patrol.
The Senate is expected to consider the state’s transportation budget on Thursday.