AKRON — As the number of crashes in Ohio caused by distracted drivers continues to climb, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Highway Patrol have joined forces to create the first Distracted Driving Safety Corridor.
The goal of the corridor, which runs along I-76 and I-80 between Newton Falls Road (just east of SR 534) and West Liberty St. (just east of State Route 193), is improving safety, while reducing crashes, fatalities and injuries along one of Ohio’s busiest stretches of interstate highway.
“Distracted driving crashes are preventable crashes,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “While many people realize the dangers of being distracted behind the wheel, too many Ohioans continue to take their focus away from driving.”
Since 2013, there have been 64,908 crashes caused by distracted drivers in Ohio. Those crashes have resulted in 189 deaths and 22,428 serious injuries
Throughout the corridor, ODOT will be placing signage alerting motorists when they enter the corridor and also informing them that this is a high enforcement area. Signs will also be placed throughout the corridor reminding motorists of the dangers of distracted driving.
Between January 1, 2016 and February 28, 2018, OSHP handed out 2,735 distracted driving violations in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties. During that same time, there were 1,245 distracted driving crashes which included three fatalities and nearly 450 injuries.
“Troopers from the Canfield and Warren Posts will elevate their focus on distracted driving violations occurring in the corridor,” Lieutenant Jerad Sutton from the Patrol’s Canfield Post said. “Our focus will be educating the public on the dangers of distracted driving and enforcing distracted driving violations.”
Troopers will also hand out the “If You Think You’re a Multitasker, You’re Wrong” pamphlet on traffic stops. The posts will use Federal Grant dollars to supplement patrols along the corridor.
For more information on the corridor please visit www.transportation.ohio.gov/DDSC. Here you will find interactive maps and statistics about the corridor and distracted driving.