"70 On 77" Three Weeks Away

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An Eastern Ohio driver remembers when 70 miles an hour-and above-was normal on state highways. It was 80 when he was growing up in Kansas.

"It really irritated me," said the Newcomerstown, Ohio man, "because I couldn't get my big block Chevy and my big block Oldsmobile to go as fast as I wanted to."

That was before the first major spike in gas prices in the 1970's. Ironically, with those prices continuing to rise, so are the speed limits on interstate highways. In fact, Ohio is well behind West Virginia, which went to 70 in the late 1990's.

"I think it should have been done a long time ago," said Will Thomas, From Napoleon, Ohio. "You got it in Michigan, you have it in West Virginia. It would be nice to have it right in the middle."

But how fast will drivers really go?

"They do 80 now, so somebody's going to do 80, " said Ed Greer, From Medina, Ohio, "feeling they do nine miles over the speed limit."

Our Newcomerstown traveler now usually rides under the current posted speed limit. But he doesn't think speed is the problem.

"I see people passing me who are very careful drivers, doing 75, and I see idiots passing me, who are driving the same way."

The national speed limit was set at 55 miles an hour in the '70's, before West Virginia and Ohio rose it to 65 in the 1980's.

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