LIMA — Drivers on U.S. 30 can now get around a little faster.
The speed limit signs are being changed on U.S. 30 between the Indiana state line and Mansfield to 70 mph, a 5-mph increase, Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman Matt Bruning said.
“We find people usually drive at a speed they are comfortable with, and 70 mph is about as fast as people drive,” Bruning said.
The 115-mile stretch of U.S. 30 was chosen since it mostly includes rural area that has limited access with a wide median, a standard the agency requires. The exception along that stretch is the U.S. 23 bypass near Upper Sandusky, he said.
The Ohio legislature passed a bill in 2013 to allow the increase to 70 mph on certain highways such as portions of Interstate 75, he said.
The installation of signs posting the new speed limit began Wednesday and should be completed by today, Bruning said.
“As those signs change, the speed limit will change. If you’re driving on a section of 30 that says you have to go 65 mph, you still have to go 65 mph until that sign changes,” Bruning said. “Whatever that sign says, the highway patrol and law enforcement will go by.”
Bruning said he has no records to show whether the increase in the speed limit has led to more or even fewer crashes. He said it’s too early to tell but said the general consensus is there has not been a problem.
“We like to wait at least three years to see if a trend has been set. Nothing has shown a gigantic spike on the Interstate,” he said.
The department does pay close attention to crashes and crash-causing factors. Safety remains the agency’s top priority, Bruning said.