Tue. May 28th, 2024

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is installing new warning system technology on highways across the state to alert drivers of upcoming traffic congestion. The automatic traffic queue warning systems are designed to prevent “end-of-queue” crashes that occur when drivers are unable to see slowed or stopped traffic in time, resulting in collisions. The systems will be installed at 13 highway sites where slow or stopped traffic will trigger message boards to warn drivers. The estimated cost for each system ranges from $300,000 to $600,000 per site, and installation at all 13 sites will take two years.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine stated that the chosen sites were selected based on data indicating a high likelihood of serious rear-end crashes. While the warning systems can help prevent crashes, he emphasized the importance of driver attentiveness on the road. ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks expects the new technology to reduce end-of-queue crashes by at least 16%, equivalent to approximately 1,400 crashes. A recent deadly end-of-queue crash in Licking County prompted the installation of the first warning system near the crash site. The distracted driver law, which made it a primary offense to use a phone while driving, went into effect last year in Ohio.

Overall, there were 15,500 fewer traffic crashes in Ohio last year compared to 2022, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

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