COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio motorists may soon be able to drive a little faster on some state routes.
The Ohio Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday amended the state’s two-year transportation budget with language that would, if enacted, raise the speed limit from 55 to 60 mph on two-lane state routes outside of cities and villages.
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.
Lawmakers have yet to publicly debate the new amendment, which was added to the bill along with several other changes on Wednesday.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that between 1993 and 2017, 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.
Both the Ohio House and Senate will have to sign off on the amended transportation budget before it heads to Gov. Mike DeWine for consideration.