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Construction zone speed limits questioned in Ohio

In Ohio, you see construction all over the roadways. It's not uncommon, and normally speed limits are reduced in those areas. Now, some people are arguing that construction zone speed limits could save lives if they were reduced even further.

According to a report from May 27, around 23 highway workers and a police officer are killed each year thanks for construction zones; in Ohio, those zones are limited to 55 mph, but that may not be slow enough, and some areas aren't even marked.

On state Route 11, for example, the report discovered that the speed limit was still marked as 70 mph. There are no signs that tell drivers to slow down, despite the fact that road construction and stopped traffic signs are visible. According to the news, it's an 8.5-mile stretch that still has a 70 mph limit despite being under construction. This high speed limit in a construction zone could, and has, led to construction accidents in the area.

It can't be an oversight; construction has been going on there since April 14. In that area, a motorist was recently injured by a vehicle going 60 mph in the zone, which is still much slower than the speed limit. The person was critically injured.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has the answer to why this construction zone hasn't been limited. According to their report, they don't limit the speed under certain circumstances, like when resurfacing is taking place. If they did, it would back up traffic, according to their explanation. ODOT officials have reported that they are in the process of lowering the speed limit there.

It's not clear if that accident had enough impact on the area to force the limit to be reduced or not, but the ODOT officials did say it was for the safety of the workers and public along that stretch.

WFMJ, "Construction zone speed limits could save lives" Michelle Nicks, May. 27, 2014

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