Ohio legislators are considering a proposal to increase the speed limit on state routes and county roads from 55 mph to 60 mph, except for two-lane roads which could be increased to 65 mph. Current law states that highways in the state have a speed limit of 55 mph unless otherwise specified.
The proposed amendment to the transportation budget bill was introduced on Wednesday and is awaiting debate. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) would be authorized to determine the speed limit for two-lane state routes following an engineering study.
Critics of the proposal cite a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety which found that a 5 mph increase in the speed limit is associated with an 8% increase in deaths on interstates and freeways, and a 3% increase in deaths on other roads. However, supporters argue that increasing the speed limit could help reduce travel time and boost economic growth.
Ohio lawmakers last changed the roadway speed limits in 2013, when they increased the speed limit on interstate highways outside of urban areas from 65 mph to 70 mph.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, speeding was responsible for around 11% of the 30,002 total crashes that occurred in Ohio in 2022.
The amended transportation budget bill must be approved by both the Ohio House and Senate before it can be signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine.