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Crashes up 5% in first year of Turnpike's 70 mph limit

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The State Highway Patrol says the number of crashes reported along the Ohio Turnpike increased about 5 percent during the first year of its higher 70 mph speed limit.

The speed limit for the 241-mile toll road increased from 65 mph to 70 mph in April 2011.

There were 2,539 crashes from April 2011 to March 2012. That’s 134 more crashes than the number reported from April 2010 to March 2011.

A patrol spokeswoman told The Plain Dealer of Cleveland ( the agency hopes lawmakers note those numbers as they consider legislation that would raise the speed limit to 70 mph on parts of other Ohio interstate highways.

She said the patrol is concerned about road safety and believes higher speeds will mean more crashes.