COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Drivers are already aware of speed limit changes for school and construction zones, but now the Ohio Department of Transportation wants the authority to change the speed limit on any state highway.
They’re asking state lawmakers to allow them to implement variable speed limits, depending on traffic and weather conditions.
For example, ODOT would be able to temporarily lower the speed limit on a highway during a snow storm.
According to ODOT press secretary Matt Bruning: variable speed limits are already in place on I-90 east of Cleveland if there’s a white-out blizzard, and on I-670 near Columbus, if traffic is too congested.
Both of those locations had to be approved by state lawmakers.
“What we’re simply asking them to remove that restriction and allow us to pick additional sites, should the criteria be there and should the need be there, moving forward,” Bruning said. “This would only be in locations where we would have frequent issues with weather or traffic congestion.”
Drivers in the Dayton area had mixed reactions to the proposal.
Kristine Parker said: “Some people could believe it’s still at a higher rate and be going at that and then they change it to a lower speed limit and people wouldn’t realize it and they’d be able to get pulled over, a lot easier.”
Another driver Richard Lasley said: “I would think they have the jurisdiction to change whatever policy is needed in the interests of Ohio drivers.”
Bruning said Dayton-area highways are not being considered for variable speed limits. He named I-275 in Cincinnati as a potential location because of congestion during rush hour.
He stressed it wouldn’t be a widespread change.