COLUMBUS (WCMH)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine reported that there has been one more deaths per week this year over last year on the states roadways. In 2018 there were 1068 traffic deaths compared to this year’s 1119 deaths.
“Distracted driving involving smart phones is, without a doubt, a major contributing factor to this increase in traffic fatalities,“ said the Governor DeWine. “ As we launch into one of the busiest travel time of the year, the way we drive will impact how many people are home for the holidays and how many people ring in the new year.“
More than 91,000 distracted driving crashes occurred in Ohio since 2013, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The agency also note that 305 people were killed and distracted driving crashes during the same period of time.
“The vast majority of traffic deaths in Ohio are completely preventable,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. “While we engineer roads to be as safe as possible, the one thing we cannot control is driver behavior. We’re urging drivers to put down the phone, buckle up, drive sober, and obey the speed limit.”
One of the items that the state utilizing to help prevent accidents are the electronica signs that can be seen on the interstates. ODOT says its Use of funny puns and quips actually help remind drivers to pay attention and slow down.
“While the subject is very serious, we have found that the public responds better to messages that are humorous or relate to pop-culture,” said Marchbanks.
A survey conducted by the Federal Highway Administration found that more than half of all respondents indicated that seeing safety campaign messages on digital message boards in the past had caused them to change their driving.
Beginning on Saturday, December 21 there will be different messages posted on the boards to promote safe driving.