Anyone that lives in, is looking to visit the beautiful state of Ohio, or who plans to journey through the state by car must understand the speed limits of the state.
Laws surrounding speed limits are quite stringent in Ohio, like anywhere else in the U.S. However, it is better to be safe than sorry as abiding by the speed limits in Ohio will not only cost you less in fines and potential points on your license, but it can help save yourself and others from unnecessary accidents.
The Ohio Department of Transportation has established the safest speed limits to travel in specific areas of the state. The different speed limits highlight the fastest speeds you are legally allowed to drive when conditions and visibility are good.
The following speed limits in Ohio apply when driving in specific state areas:
- 20 mph in school zones and this especially applies to times of the day when school children are traveling to, or being picked up from school, and in zones where the twenty miles per hour speed sign has been displayed and is flashing.
- Interestingly enough, Ohio is the only state east of Mississippi that allows for a speed limit of over 70 mph on non-freeway roads.
- Minimum speed limits usually range between 40 and 45 miles per hour.
- The speed limit on the Ohio Turnpike, rural freeways, and parts of the US-30 and US-33 is 70 miles per hour.
- The speed limit on the I-76 and I-77 is set at 70 mph but can decrease to 55 mph as you reach toll plazas.
- The speed limit on I-80 is set at 65 mph and can drop to 50 or 55 mph depending on the zone you are driving through.
The Department of Transportation allows drivers to go less than five miles above the maximum prescribed speed limits in Ohio. Such drivers are typically not pulled over as various factors can lead to marginal errors in speed detection, including tire size and the calibration of the speedometer being used.
What are the Maximum and Minimum Ohio Speed Limits?
Regarding the maximum speed limit, the Ohio Vehicle Code states that drivers shall not drive their vehicles at a speed that is greater or less than the reasonable limit when taking traffic, surface and width of the road, and other factors into consideration.
The minimum speed law, on the other hand, states that no vehicle should be going at a speed that is so slow that it impedes the flow of traffic. With regards to driving on the highway, the law suggests that the right-hand lane is reserved for vehicles that go at or below the minimum Ohio speed limits. If this is not practical, the car should be as close to the right-hand side of the highway as possible.
What Fines Apply When Going Over the Speed Limit in Ohio?
Ohio’s combination of absolute and prima facie speed laws allows drivers the opportunity to take speed-related offenses to court. Drivers can claim that they were innocent and driving safely based on one of the following:
- Opposing the determination of the speed if the driver knows how accurate the reading was when disproving it.
- Claiming an emergency and exceeding the speed limit to prevent damage or injury.
- Claiming a case of mistaken identity if the police lost the real offender in traffic and pulled over the wrong car.
However, if such cases cannot be made in relation to the speed limit in Ohio and whether you exceeded it, first-time offenders can be charged with a fine of up to $100, and their license can be suspended for up to six months.
If you are going more than 10 mph over the speed limit in a 55 mph zone or higher, or more than 5 mph in any other speed zone, you will be assessed two points. For example, going 65 in a 55 is speeding, and you may receive a ticket, but no points will be assessed against you.
Also, if you are driving 30 mph or more over the speed limit in Ohio, you will be assessed four points as a minimum charge and you run the risk of getting your license suspended too.
When relocating to Ohio, or just simply visiting on location, there is an abundance of fun things to do, and places to see. However, knowing and adhering to the Ohio speed limits is essential in order for you to avoid penalties and potential casualties.