Ohio to test variable work-zone speed limit signs
Friday September 21, 2012 3:15 PM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio transportation officials say a new pilot program will use signs that reduce speed limits in some parts of construction zones while allowing traffic to travel at normal speeds elsewhere in those areas.
The Department of Transportation says the Variable Speed Limit program is meant to help protect workers and travelers while reducing congestion and crashes.
Signs with flashing beacons will light up to indicate reduced speed limits in parts of construction zones while workers are exposed to traffic. When workers are gone, the beacons will turn off.
The signs will be tested during road and bridge projects in Franklin, Lake, Lucas and Warren counties. The program is planned to go statewide next year.
ODOT says several other states use similar signs, but it’s a first for Ohio.
Indiana uses these speed limit signs with flashing lights, and as a driver I think it’s nice to be able to continue at the normal speed limit when there are no workers present. However, there are also times when speed limits are reduced in construction zones because of temporary geometric changes (e.g., shorter tapers, narrower lanes). ODOT will have to be careful to let drivers know which zones require speed reductions at all times and which only require reduction when lights are flashing.