By Steve Bennish
Dayton Daily News
The proposal to raise the state’s speed limit to 75 mph on rural interstate highways and the turnpike is dead for now.
Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger’s office said Tuesday afternoon that the proposed increase would be pulled from a $7 billion, two-year transportation budget, according to the Associated Press.
The proposal would have made Ohio only the second state entirely east of the Mississippi River to have such a high limit. The other is Maine.
AAA opposed raising the speed limit.
“The first thing that needs to be considered is safety — that has to be the primary factor for consideration. When you increase the speed limit, you also increase stopping distance, and it decreases the time motorists have to stop. With higher speeds, it can result in harder crashes,” said Cindy Antrican, spokeswoman for AAA of the Miami Valley.
Optimal fuel efficiency for vehicles is between 55 mph and 60 mph, Antrican said.
A total of 16 states, mostly in the western United States, have at least a 75 mph speed limit.
The proposed Ohio increase was absent from the House-passed transportation bill, then added in the Ohio Senate. It lost traction during compromise talks this week.
Senators favoring the idea said Ohio’s seen few problems since increasing its limit to 70 mph two years ago.
Earlier this year, the Governors Highway Safety Association came out against raising the limit. Spokeswoman Kara Macek cited statistics saying that one-third of traffic fatalities are tied to excessive speed. Limits should be based on science, engineering and safety, not on the perceived need for expediting travel, Macek said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.