A proposal to raise the speed limit in Ohio from 65 to 70 mph to bring traffic speeds in the state in line with surrounding states and the Ohio Turnpike has drawn opposition from the Ohio Trucking Assn. (OTA).

“It’s a safety issue for us; it’s an economic issue for us,” Larry Davis, president of the OTA told the Oxford Press. “We think the best speed is 65.”

Members of the trucking association think 65 is fast enough, Davis said. “It’s a lot more economical. You get half a mile less per gallon roughly from 65 to 70. And when you’re talking 300 gals. every time you fill your truck, it amounts to a good piece of money.”

Davis says OTA’s main concern is having all vehicles going the same speed on the interstates. “We supported the speed change (from 55 mph) to 65 (in 2009) because it made everybody run the same limit,” Davis said. “We feel that all the vehicles ought to go the same speed, whatever that speed is, so you aren’t having them cut in and out like you do when you have differential speed limits.”

Rep. Ron Maag R-Salem Twp. recently introduced the state legislation to make the change mainly because states bordering Ohio — Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and West Virginia — all have speed limits of 70 mph. The independently operated Ohio Turnpike raised its speed limit to 70 mph last April.

“Our roads were designed for that speed 40 years ago,” Maag said. “We’ve gotten better in our cars and equipment and tires and brakes, and to me it just makes sense.

The Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio State Highway Patrol haven’t endorsed the increase to 70 mph.

“At this point, the idea to increase the speed on Ohio’s highways is simply that — an idea,” Steve Faulkner, press secretary for ODOT told the Oxford Press. “As the measure makes its way through the legislature, ODOT is likely to monitor its progress and engage in the legislation debate at the appropriate time, if needed.”