Oregon reduces speed limit on I-5 near Roseburg from 65 to 60 mph

A truck crashed off a freeway overpass and crashed into traffic, triggering a 6-car pileup that closed all lanes of Interstate 5 northbound on Friday, March 31, 2017, firefighters said. (Photo courtesy Roseburg Fire Dept.)

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The next time you merge on to Interstate 5 near Roseburg you might want to think twice about what speed you're going.

Oregon Department of Transportation plans to reduce the number of crashes on the freeway be reducing the speed limit on I-5 through Roseburg.

And you’ll have to get used to going slower before the year is up. | TRAFFIC MAP

ODOT approved for cars to reduce their speed from 65 miles per hour to 60, while trucks stay the same at 55 miles per hour, between mileposts 123 and 127.

ODOT says it was not a random decision.

“We don't go around looking to see if we need to lower or raise speed limits unless there is a trend, number one, or number two, there's a request," said ODOT’s Shelley Snow.

ODOT's crash data also helped this decision.

Roseburg's strip along I-5 saw a higher level of crashes involving serious or fatal injuries between 2012 and 2014.

But people we talked to in Roseburg say it will not make much of a difference.

"I travel through Portland, I travel through Eugene, and the speed limits are lowered there and nobody pays attention,” said Tracy Stott of Roseburg.

"You're wasting your time,” said Dustin Kingsford of Roseburg. “People are going to drive as fast as they want anyway.”

But ODOT says that the speed change will catch people's attention and make the freeway safer.

"That will be one of our goals,” said Snow, “that perhaps, if traffic is flowing smoother, then there are fewer crashes."

ODOT hopes to have these changes done by mid-December once the new speed limit signs go up.

Officials believe this is vital to reduce the amount of major accidents along the freeway.

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