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Hagan looks to put brakes on 70-mph speed-limit plan

Published: Fri, May 22, 2009 @ 12:07 a.m.


Rep. Robert F. Hagan, D-Youngstown. (AP Photo/Larry Phillips)


State Rep. Ronald Gerberry, D-59


680 West to 80.

By David Skolnick

The Ohio State Highway Patrol opposes the plan, contending that driving too fast leads to crashes.

YOUNGSTOWN — Some of the Mahoning Valley’s Ohio House delegation say a proposal to increase the speed limit on interstates in rural areas to 70 mph should go full speed ahead.

But state Rep. Robert F. Hagan of Youngstown, chairman of the committee that will hear testimony on increasing that speed limit from 65 mph, isn’t keen about putting the proposal on the fast track.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will have its first hearing on the proposal in two weeks, said Hagan, D-60th, its chairman.

Though Hagan said he’s willing to listen to both sides of the issue, he noted he does “have a slant.”

That slant is “increased speed means increased use of fuel, and that increases our carbon footprint,” Hagan said. “I have reservations about it.”

With the current speed limit of 65 mph on interstates for cars, drivers can “squeeze another six miles out of it” and drive 71 mph without fear of being pulled over by the police for speeding, Hagan said.

“If it’s 70, you’ll be able to go 76 mph — and that’s dangerous,” Hagan said.

The interstate speed limit for autos is 65 mph and has been since 1987. Beginning July 1, the speed limit for trucks on Ohio’s interstate goes from 55 mph to 65 mph.

This proposed speed-limit increase would be for automobiles in rural interstate areas, and not on urban interstates.

Portions of Interstate Routes 76 and 80 in the Mahoning Valley would be impacted by the speed increase, Hagan said.

The legislation was introduced Wednesday in the Ohio House. Among its cosponsors is state Rep. Tom Letson of Warren, D-64th.

“Our interstates were designed for that particular speed or higher,” he said. “We should be allowed to travel with a speed limit of 70.”

The Ohio State Highway Patrol, which has the responsibility of policing the state’s interstate system, is already opposing the plan. The patrol’s concern is driving too fast leads to crashes.

When asked if increasing the speed limit by 5 mph increases the danger of driving, Letson said, “Not appreciably, no.”

There are already 32 other states that have speed limits of 70 mph or higher on certain roads, according to the Associated Press.

One of those states is Indiana.

State Rep. Ronald V. Gerberry of Austintown, D-59th, traveled frequently to Indiana to watch his son, Dan Gerberry, a standout center for the Ball State University football team. His son graduated and signed as a free agent with the Detroit Lions.

“When I go into Indiana it’s 70 mph, and I don’t see a difference,” he said. “My initial reaction is positive to the proposal, but I want to hear the debate.”

State Rep. Linda Bolon of Columbiana, D-1st, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said she needs to examine the issue further but added she’s “probably OK with it.”

State Rep. Sandra Stabile Harwood of Niles, D-65th, said she hasn’t looked at the proposal and declined to comment until she reviewed it.



1Askmeificare(1167 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

Nice hair Bob.

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2jimiohoh(88 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

Go Bobby - keep us always one step behind the rest of the country.

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3aeparish(669 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

Drx, your logic is not very good. You're probably the person I get stuck behind every day on my way to work that's going 55 in a 65.

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4Stan(9923 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

Many speed challenged travel at 45 on the interstate. There is no need for this as there are plenty of side roads to travel on at that speed. For those who consider 70 too fast, no one will force you to drive at that speed. Use the side roads.

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5ElPolloRetrasado(212 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

Speed doesn't kill, stupid people kill!!

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6greentree77(2 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

Your right about Bobs hair...what is up with that? He looks like he is sixty years old.

Who cares what he talks about. I cant stand his hair. Why doesnt he cut it? I need to see him bald then I can talk to him about serious issues.

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7ElPolloRetrasado(212 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

I really wish the Highway Patrol would put a little emphasis on that and pull those idiots over. All that does is cause jams in traffic and next thing you know the idiot in the left lane has some sort of brain hemhorrage and thinks they see a fly in the road and they slam on their brakes causing a massive freak out behind them! All because they couldn't turn the wheel an inch to the right to get in the correct lane. Erplane, I see that you have seen this type of negligent behavior also. One more question. When did they start removing turn signals from automobiles. I have 3 vehicles and all of mine are there and work, why can't anyone else use theirs??!!

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8aeparish(669 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

Well, ElPollo, you do know that the car manufacturers are struggling. Perhaps when they started cutting costs, they must have cut the concept of installing turn signals, as well.

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9ElPolloRetrasado(212 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

Aeparish, thats funny! Next thing GM is gonna do is install manual wiper blades, powered by your elbow grease and string wrapped on each one that you move back and forth from inside the car, haha! Come on we,ve all had to do something like that on our old jaloppies at some point in time, right?

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10NilesResident(14 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

Not only does his hair look bad but both of them look like someone pasted toothy smiles on them. Hagan is fishing for public opinion on this issue (he's probablu reading these posts to determine what to do next) and Gerberry just wants us to know that his son is almost famous (by the comment in the article). Bolon and Stabile-Harwood vote with the majority - they're probably "OK with it" unless someone tells them not to be OK with it. And we keep electing these people to represent us - GEEZ!

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11NoBS(2762 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

I like how Bobby knows the exact figure where your speed is "dangerous." I also like how he gives his personal seal of approval to going 6 mph over the speed limit and guaranteeing nobody will be ticketed for doing it. What a maroon.

drx - it's far safer when ALL traffic is moving at the same speed. Having two separate speed limits on the same road is simply asking for trouble. 680/I 80/I 76 were built when the speed limit was 70 mph outside the city. Cars have become more safe and handle much better today than they were in the '70s when the speed limit was dropped to 55 mph. So what's the problem with driving on certain roads at the speed they were designed to accomodate?

greentree - what do you mean, Bobby "looks like he's 60 years old"?? He IS 60 years old!!

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12paulydel(1598 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

There are signs that say "Keep To The Right Except For Passing". If some of you had bothered to read the basic drivers manual or have taken a defensive driving course you would know that the right side of your vehicle is your blind spot. So unless your passing someome move over and let them go. If they get stopped then they will leave the rest of us alone.

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13joebag09(352 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

Bob Hagan gets less accomplished by having his name show up more than anyone I know! I'm also sick of "big brother" telling me how to spend my money. If I choose to drive faster and use more gas... it's my choice. "Big brother" needs to look into why I'm paying more for fuel! I don't want these BS excuses the oil companies give us and then they post record profits. When our voters going to start laying down the law and hold goverment responsible? You do not preform... I do not vote for you...PERIOD!

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14andersonathan(683 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

Well first of all I don't see roads being good enough around here to ravel 70 mph. But the biggest problem there is that heavy trucks will continue to be at 55 in this state. So all the safety nuts that think that's the safest speed for a heavy truck might want to look up some stats and get educated. In split state speed limits like Ohio 65/55 death rates are higher in car, truck accidents. In states that have the same rate of speed 65/65 deaths are lower. Don't get me wrong hit a truck at 65 and your crushed can in a car [i know]

But having a CDL class A and driving for a time in my life. And something I think everyone should go to school for just for the experience but please do not take out on the highway. If you keep trucks at 55 and cars at 70 you are asking for disaster.

A idiot can drive 35 mph or 70 mph and is still a idiot.

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15HundredReasons(31 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

Speed is the least of all distractions these days. An extra 5mph doesn't have the same impact on traffic flow, safety or any other "look at me I'm scared" reason... as people who are now texting while driving.

I agree with anderson above, an idiot will be an idiot no matter how fast the speed limit dictates.

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16biggdaddy1126(2 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

im a truck driver /motorcycle/car driver as i travel these roads it dosent matter if its 70 or 55 somebody is going to go faster.so it doesnt matter! and for all nthe big truck haters out there you couldnt even wipe your but with out the toilet papper we bring you,the reason why there r accidents involving trucks is because of you idiots who dont pay attention while driving.count how many times you see a car cutting infront of a truck because it might be holding them up or count how many times you merge into traffic at a slower seed i know you can get a ticket for doing71 in a 65 so,i hope they do raise so it makes all u non driver finely learn how to drive!! bob dont let me catch you doing a ounce over the speed limit cuz if you do you better have extra velco to hold that wig on cuz it might blow off

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17biggdaddy1126(2 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

sorry for the poor gramer was in a hurry oooops

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18Ken(153 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

I too travel Michigan and INdiana many times a month (and their roads are much better than Ohio's). Make the speed limit 70 and let the SHP arrest those that go 73 and up...and let that be known!! As it is not, NO ONE travels 65 on I-71, I-77 or I 70.

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19smte4pears(18 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

Does this speed increase include the "Bob Hagan Memorial Highway"?

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20scrooge(563 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

If Hagan did get the highway named after him he would probably be in favor of the increase.
Tax anyone driving 66+ mph and he'd be in favor of it.

this whole "carbon footprint" thing really pissez me off! NO ONE has been able to show DEFINATIVE proof of global warmer....er...cooling......er, I mean....Climate Change - yeah that's it.
If I remember my science from 3rd grade carbon dioxide is a GOOD thing! It's what plants need to create oxygen. Now all of a sudden cardon dioxide is a bad thing? Hellzbellz plant more trees and shrubs if you want to reduce levels in the air.
(For the record I know carbon footprint is energy consumption and not the carbon dioxide in the air but I still had to get it off my chest)

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21thecp29(1 comment)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

speed kills and stupid people speeding also kill. stupid people speeding and talking on cell phones also kills. and i dont care if im holding up traffic when im doing 55 in a 65. im not saving your life..im saving mine and my family's lives.

i suggest we keep the limit to 65 and promote hands free cell usage.

over 50,000 people per year die from traffic accidents and did you know that 500 teenagers per year die on the road because they are texting and driving at same time? that's 500 dumb teenagers with dumb parents...and you think i want them to drive 70 mph?

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22justaskme09(15 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

i say get rid of the speed limit. lets use the nra way of thinking. guns do not kill only stupid people. car do not kill only stupid drivers.so why should we have speed limits????just let them pry my keys from my cold.dead hands.lol

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23aeparish(669 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

Thecp, you should care if you're holding up traffic doing 55 in a 65, just as much as you should care if someone's doing 75 in a 65. Your slow speed can also put your and your family's lives in danger.

P.S. Most of those kids are already driving 70+ mph and texting.

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24NoBS(2762 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

thecp29 wrote:

" and i dont care if im holding up traffic when im doing 55 in a 65. im not saving your life..im saving mine and my family's lives."

Then YOU deserve a traffic ticket, for obstructing the flow of traffic. You're CAUSING a life safety hazard as people who are obeying the speed limit try to get around your slow-moving, inconsiderate, self-important, self-righteous uninformed azz. Are YOU a traffic cop? No? Then don't act like one. Leave traffic enforcement to the cops.

You know, when you are the target of Road Rage on multiple occasions, maybe it's time to examine YOUR driving habits.

"i suggest we keep the limit to 65 and promote hands free cell usage."

I suggest if we do nothing else at all, we ban cell phone use while driving PERIOD. It's not the hands, it's the brain. The level of concentration required to carry on a phone conversation is far greater than that required to talk to your mom in the seat beside you.

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25AustintownPenguin(27 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

I'll admit that I go faster than the speed limit, but mainly because I would get ran over if I did the speed limit.

First, it is dangerous for people to drive 5-10 miles lower than the speed limit. If you don't like going 65, then go on the side roads.

Second, it takes no more concentration to talk on the cell phone than it does to yell at your children in the back seat or talk to your mother in the seat next to you. With bluetooth, all you have to do is hit a button and say 'Call Mom' and the call will be placed.

Finally, I see enough other weird things going on in cars on my drive to work and back home from work. Maybe if the cops would pull over women for putting on their make-up or brushing their hair or reading magazines while driving (or some men for shaving or reading newspapers) then we wouldn't have as many accidents as there are.

Mainly, just pay attention while you are driving, either at any speed. Speed doen't kill, bad drivers kill.

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