Speeds raised on Ohio Turnpike in the interest of “safety”

The Ohio Turnpike Commission approved an increase in the speed limit on the Ohio Turnpike, according to an Associated Press article published on Recordpub.com.

By a 4-1 vote, the Commission increased the limit to 70 mph along the 241-mi. road, hoping that the increased speeds would lure trucks off of secondary roads and onto the Turnpike. The increase goes into effect on April 1, 2011, the article stated.

George Distel, the executive director of the Turnpike Commission, said the move was designed in the interest of safety, although he admitted in the article that no studies had been completed.

“We are trying to encourage heavy commercial vehicles off of parallel routes and onto the turnpike, which is designed to accommodate those vehicles much better than those two-lane highways,” Distel said.

Distel went on to say that he was unsure if trucks were using the secondary roads because of the toll cost of the Turnpike, which can be as much as $75 for commercial vehicles.

“If you check our tolls against other toll roads in the nation, we are among the lowest,” he said.

According to the article, the Ohio Trucking Association wrote a letter to the Commission on Monday urging it to consider lowering tolls.