Drivers Encouraged by Speed Limit Change

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CLEVELAND -- Some Ohio drivers will soon be able to put the pedal to the metal a little harder.  State legislators passed a bill, increasing the speed limit on some Ohio highways.

Soon 65 mph speed limit signs could be replaced with signs that say 70.  The state legislature passed a state transportation budget that includes raising the speed limit on rural interstate highways.

"I think it should be 70 everywhere, because I drive 70 anyway, so might as well be legal,” said motorist Karlton Wells.

"I just came back from Florida and throughout all the states, through Kentucky and Tennessee and Georgia, it's 70 miles an hour ... on average, so it's good, but 65 is adequate.  I think it may keep the accident rate down," said motorist Tim Ochwat.

The speed limit on the Ohio Turnpike is already 70 mph, but this bill would allow it to increase on highways outside of city limits.  It also includes a plan to use bonds for the turnpike, which Governor John Kasich's office says will save $1.5 billion.  That would allow for state projects, including the Innerbelt Bridge construction in downtown Cleveland to proceed faster.

Most drivers Fox 8 News spoke to are encouraged by that and also about being able to drive a little faster.

"If the average driver could handle it, like I know in West Virginia and other areas it's like 70 miles an hour, I think if they can handle it in those similar conditions, well then we'll see.  Hopefully we can too,” said motorist Sara Niec.

"Most people go 70 miles an hour anyway as it is.  My commute down 77 is probably about 20 miles and that's fine by me, it's all too fast anyways, but 70 is fine," said motorist Jennifer Weixel.

The bill still has to be signed by Governor John Kasich.  A spokesman for the governor says he is expected to sign it.

The speed limit change would then go into effect sometime this summer.

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