ODOT, state troopers increasing air enforcement to make safer work zones


There were 6,553 work zone crashes in Ohio in 2019

ODOT, Ohio Department of Transportation

Credit: Peter Cade/Stone/Getty Images

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio State Highway Patrol are teaming up to make work zones safer.

There were 6,553 work zone crashes in Ohio in 2019. As of September 21, there have been 3,145 work zone crashes this year.

Now, state troopers are taking to the sky to make a difference.

With help from ODOT, Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Aviation Section identified about a dozen locations where they will monitor crash-causing violations, including speed, following too close and failing to move over.

Officials said the selected locations have a history of crashes and higher speeds.

“This year, we have seen an alarming spike in crashes on our roadways and construction zones,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “It’s important that we implement partnerships and technology like this to decrease roadway crashes, ensuring both motorists and construction employees make it home safely.”

Troopers routinely enforce speed violations from the air. A pilot will measure how long it takes vehicles to pass through sections of the roadway and relay the violation to troopers on the ground.

“Driving requires your full attention, especially in work zones. All the safety measures we put into place don’t matter if drivers never see them because their attention is elsewhere,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.

“Work zone crashes are preventable if drivers slow down, increase following distance, and most importantly pay attention,” said Colonel Richard Fambro, superintendent of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. “We continue to support work zone safety and make our presence known in an effort to provide a safe environment for our roadway workers.”

There will be signs in those areas to let drivers know about increased enforcement there.

The pilot project could be expanded next year.

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