Category Archives: Motorists

ODOT To Invest $2 Billion To Improve Infrastructure

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Photo Courtesy of Ohio Department of Transportation

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is gearing up for another busy construction season. This year, ODOT will invest $1.92 billion into 956 projects to improve transportation across the state.

The 2021 construction program includes improvements to 876 bridges and 4,596 miles of pavement. Ninety-six cents of every dollar invested will go toward making sure existing roads and bridges are in good condition and as safe as possible.

“Ohio’s ability to safely and easily move people and goods is vital as we continue to recover from the global pandemic,” said Governor Mike DeWine.  “As ODOT begins the 2021 construction season, there are many infrastructure projects throughout the state that will improve safety for motorists.   We also need motorists to pay attention and not drive distracted, and to slow down in construction zones.” 

An increase in the state motor fuel tax that went into effect on July 1, 2019, has allowed ODOT to keep maintenance and safety projects on schedule despite a 15.5 percent drop in traffic volume last year.

“Thanks to the foresight of Gov. DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly and internal operational savings identified by our workforce, we have been able to weather this global pandemic. Without those extra funds, we would be nearly a billion dollars in the red,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. “While other states have been delaying or cancelling projects, Ohio continues moving forward.”

Safety remains the top priority, with a total of 266 safety projects included in this year’s construction program. Of those, 131 projects are funded through the ODOT Highway Safety Improvement Program, a total investment of $178 million. A portion of these funds will go to local municipalities, townships, and counties to make safety improvements on roads they maintain.

Funding will also help target more than 150 intersections prioritized by Gov. DeWine in early 2019. These projects include simple adjustments like changing signage and striping to more complex solutions like the full reconstruction of an intersection. To date, 36 locations have been completed, 43 are under or will soon begin construction this year, 101 are under design, and 4 are still being studied. These safety improvements will no doubt save lives.

“We engineer our roads to be as safe as possible, but we need motorists to do their part by obeying speed limits, paying attention, buckling up, and driving sober. Please pay attention to the traffic and roads, not your phones,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.

With increased construction throughout the state, it’s more important than ever that motorists follow Ohio’s “move over law.” The law requires drivers to move over for any roadside vehicles with flashing lights. If they cannot move over, they must slow down.

“Drivers should always pay attention, but work zones require extra attention. Just like you, these workers want to go home at the end of the day,” Marchbanks said.

There were 4,536 work zone crashes in Ohio last year. Of those, 18 crashes were fatal and 96 resulted in serious injuries. ODOT will continue to work with the Ohio State Highway Patrol for targeting enforcement of traffic laws in work zones.

Last year, ODOT crews were struck 125 times while on the job. ODOT crews have been hit 52 times already in 2021. A total of 162 ODOT workers have been killed while working to improve Ohio’s roadways.

Distracted Driver Enforcement Push Announced By OSP

Presented By Atomic Speedway

(UPDATED 4/6/21)
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the Chillicothe Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to keep their eyes and their focus on the roadway while driving.

Over the last five years, 212 people lost their lives as a result of distracted driving. During this same timeframe, distracted driving led to 66,181 crashes in Ohio. Statistics show that male drivers accounted for 55 percent of all distracted driving crashes and 64 percent of the related fatal crashes. Nearly one in three distracted drivers were between the ages of 16 and 24 years old. Because drivers are reluctant to admit to distracted driving, the actual number of distracted driving crashes, injuries and deaths are believed to be significantly higher.

“Distracted driving must become as culturally unacceptable as impaired driving is today. They’re equally avoidable and equally dangerous,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Allowing something to take your focus off the roadway is irresponsible and the consequences can be troubling for Ohio families.”

On October 29, 2018, Ohio passed House Bill 95, a law which broadened what is considered distracted driving and increased the fine if it was a contributing factor to the commission of the driving violation.

“When you take your eyes off the road – even for just a few seconds – you are putting your life and the lives of others in danger,” Lt. Karwatske, Commander of the Chillicothe Post said. “There is nothing more important than the safety of yourself, your passengers and other motorists – everything else can wait.”

Distracted driving is any non-driving activity with the potential to distract a person from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing. Distractions can be visual, taking eyes off of the road; manual, taking hands off the wheel; or cognitive, taking the mind off driving. Texting while driving is an example that results in all three types of distraction. Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field when traveling at 55 mph.

As a reminder, Ohio law bans all electronic wireless communication device usage for drivers under 18. Texting while driving is illegal for all drivers and is a secondary offense for adults 18 and above.

(ORIGINATED 4/3/21)

(COLUMBUS) – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is teaming up with other members of the 6-State Trooper Project to focus on the enforcement of distracted driving laws. The push begins April 5th and runs through April 12th.

The high-visibility enforcement will also include state police agencies out of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Between 2016 and 2020, distracted driving resulted in 212 deaths on Ohio’s roadways. Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field when traveling at 55 mph.

“By driving distracted, you are putting yourself and the lives of others at risk,” said Colonel Richard S. Fambro. “Every time someone takes their eyes off the road – even for just a split second, its consequences can be devastating.”

On October 29, 2018, Ohio passed House Bill 95, a law which broadened what is considered distracted driving and increased the fine if it was a contributing factor to the commission of the driving violation.

Distracted driving is any non-driving activity with the potential to distract a person from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing. Distractions can be visual, taking eyes off of the road; manual, taking hands off the wheel; or cognitive, taking the mind off driving. Texting while driving is an example that results in all three types of distraction.

The 6-State Trooper Project is a multi-state law enforcement partnership aimed at providing combined and coordinated law enforcement and security services in the areas of highway safety, criminal patrol and intelligence sharing.

Grass Clippings Can Be Road Hazard For Motorcycle Riders

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

Now that warmer weather has brought lawn mowing back into practice in Ohio, we are being reminded about the possible safety hazard of blowing grass clippings onto streets and roads.

Most motorcycle riders say that like leaves on the roads that create slick road conditions when they become wet, grass clippings can create hazardous or slick conditions on the pavement for riders as well.

While Ohio law does not specifically forbid this practice, there are laws on the books that state “injurious materials” can not be placed on the roadways. The question is, do grass clippings fall within that category?

In a 1952 Ohio Supreme Court ruling concerning “mud” left on roads, the court determined this could not be considered as “injurious material”.

Regardless of whether it does or not, if enough evidence of grass clippings can not stand the legal test for criminal charges in court, it could still leave a person open to being sued in civil court.

Some Ohio cities have passed ordinances banning grass clippings being left on city streets, including the City of Chillicothe, where this language was added to the existing Ordinance #311.01, in 2019.

Older Driver Safety

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Talking with an older person about their driving is often difficult. Most of us delay that talk until the person’s driving has become what we believe to be dangerous. At that point, conversations can be tense and awkward for everyone involved. But there are things you can say and do to make those conversations more productive and less tense.

Learning How to Understand and Influence Older Drivers​ will help you support an older driver’s needs, as well as find community resources that can help put your older-driver plan into action. If you have decided to initiate a conversation with an older loved one about driving safely, take these three steps:

  1. Collect information;
  2. Develop a plan of action; and
  3. Follow through on the plan.

You might also want to consider learning how to adapt a motor vehicle to accommodate the unique needs of an older driver and discussing it with your loved one.

For more tips on how to handle the delicate subject of driving safety with much older loved ones who are still driving, go to our link to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration website on the following link.

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