As motorists drive along a 17-mile strip of roadway in Trumbull and Mahoning counties, they may notice more troopers on the interstate than usual. This is in part due to the new Distracted Driving Safety Corridor that launched in April as part of Distracted Driving Safety Awareness month.
The distracted driving corridor was made possible due to the partnership between the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) as an initiative to reduce distracted driving crashes, injuries and fatalities. The corridor runs along Interstate 76 and Interstate 80, spanning from Newton Falls Road in Mahoning County to West Liberty Street in Trumbull County. Statistics show that this area is one of Ohio’s busiest stretches of interstate highway and has a high rate of crashes involving distracted driving.
“Distracted driving crashes are totally preventable crashes. Distracted driving is a choice that people make,” said ODOT District Deputy Director John Picuri. “Last year there wear nearly 14,000 crashes related to distracted driving in Ohio.”
The corridor is adorned with signs that notify motorists as they are entering and leaving the corridor. Several other signs bring attention to the motorists that read “How Important Is That Text?” and “Don’t Text And Drive.” An electronic sign lights up with the number of days since the last serious crash.
The Warren and Canfield Patrol posts are using federal grant dollars to allow more enforcement by troopers looking for violations such as speeding, lane violations and following too close that may be attributed to distracted driving. The goal is to reduce crashes and dangerous driving behaviors that will result in saving more lives.