The push is on in Ohio for a 65-mile-per-hour speed limit for all vehicles in the state, including trucks, according to Cleveland.com.
Currently big rigs must drive 55 on highways, while the limit for cars and other smaller vehicles is 60 or 65 miles an hour. Only the Ohio Turnpike allows truckers to go the same speed as cars.
The Ohio Trucking Association is working to increase the limit to 65 on interstates, said association President Larry Davis. He said the slower limit saved fuel, but added that it was safer for all vehicles to travel the same speed.
Ohio is one of only four states with a 55 mph speed limit for trucks, and the state is one of only 11 where the limit is different for cars and trucks.
The American Trucking Association asked Congress the week of Jan. 26 to enact a national 65 mph speed limit for all vehicles, saying it would save fuel and reduce crashes. Many Western states have speed limits as high as 75 mph for truckers.
Davis said many accidents happen when car drivers trying to pass truckers cut in too soon and run into the back of slower trucks. But Lt. Shawn Davis of the Highway Patrol says it is more dangerous for trucks to go faster.
Previous efforts for a uniform speed limit of 65 miles per hour failed after opposition from the State Highway Patrol.
The Highway Patrol has said a 40-ton truck traveling at 65 mph takes 100 feet longer to stop than one traveling at 55 mph. The faster truck also would do more damage in a collision, the patrol said.
National studies have come to different conclusions about uniform speed limits.
A safety study by the American Society for Civil Engineers published in 2006 that compared accidents in areas with uniform speed limits to those with different speed limits for cars and heavy trucks concluded the speed limit differences had little or no impact.
Studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have shown accidents and deaths increase when speed limits for all vehicles are raised.
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