Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff
Monday, 01 July 2013 11:24
A new 70-mile-an-hour speed limit takes effect for some interstate highways in Ohio today, and the Ohio Highway Patrol plans to have their eyes on drivers.
The change beginning Monday raises the speed limit in some areas from 65 mph to 70 mph.
Lt. Jerrod Savidge, commander of the Bowling Green Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, said that the new speed limits will be carefully enforced.
“I don’t see it being a big deal,” he said in an interview this morning. “We will obviously be out enforcing the 70-mile-an-hour speed limit at 70 miles an hour. Seventy doesn’t mean 75 and it doesn’t mean 80.”
He noted that local roadways have undergone speed limit alterations before, including the Ohio Turnpike, which recently changed over to 70.
“For the most part, people are respectful and obey that 70.”
Savidge said that the Highway Patrol will have pilots out in aircraft both today and Tuesday for speed enforcement on Interstate 75.
He said that OSP pilots, using quarter-mile increments on the roadway, time vehicles as they drive through an “aviation zone” and radio down to patrolmen as they fly over speeding vehicles.
“Obviously, with the (July Fourth) holiday weekend falling in this week, we will obviously have pretty much 100 percent coverage as far as units working out on the roads and units working federal overtime” over the weekend.
“I think it’s good thing,” said Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn of the increased limit.
“I’m optimistic we’ll have the same type of positive results on our roads” as on the turnpike.
The Ohio Department of Transportation has said the speed limit is increasing on more than 570 miles of interstate highway. The increase applies to parts of Interstates 70, 71, 75, 76, 77 and 90. It doesn’t cover sections of those roads in major metropolitan areas and a few smaller cities along the way.
New or updated signs will alert drivers about the higher speed limits.
A 70-mph limit already is in effect for the Ohio Turnpike stretching across the northern part of the state.
(Associated Press contributed to this report.)