Study: Number of crashes increased since speed limit increased | News
BOWLING GREEN, OH (WTOL) - A State Highway Patrol study shows Ohio Turnpike car crashes have increased since the speed limit went up to 70 miles per hour. The Wood County Sheriff says the research is especially significant to Wood County.
The Wood County Sheriff's Office has advocated for the 70 mph speed limit, saying high speed limits have a positive effect on the county.
"It's great economically," Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said. "And if we can encourage people to use the turnpike instead of adjoining state routes, county routes, township routes, and get them traveling long distance on the turnpike, it's safer and better for our local traveling community.
The Sheriff says lowering the turnpike speed limit is not the solution; he believes it would harm Wood County drivers.
"Then we have more traffic on our roads, and then we have more crashes," Wasylyshyn said. "And we have had some serious crashes on U.S. 20 and a lot of those people were going interstate and would have used the turnpike if it weren't for the speed limit or the cost."
Highway Patrol research shows a crash increase of 5 percent, or 134 crashes. Wasylyshyn says that doesn't take several factors into account, such as an increase in drivers on the road and other accident causes. State Highway Patrol says they haven't researched those details.
Some drivers who travel through Ohio say they don't see anything wrong with the 70 mph speed limit -- especially since other states use that limit as well.
"It's very difficult for the driver because the speed limits keep fluctuating and you never know what speed you're supposed to be going," said Cathy Griffith, who drives through Ohio every year on her way back from Florida. She says lower speed limits can actually be more dangerous.
"So many trucks!" Griffith said. "And at 65 miles an hour those poor guys are gearing up and gearing down and trying to pass."
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