(WKBN) – On Thursday, the Ohio Turnpike and the Ohio State Highway Patrol announced the results of a distracted driving safety initiative along two sections of the turnpike. The initiative began Aug. 18 and ended Sept. 29.
Troopers issued 60 citations, including a charge of distracted driving inside of the two sections, which were the first ever on the Ohio Turnpike designated as Distracted Driving Enforcement Zones.
Drivers saw more troopers and electronic signs in these zones in an effort to reduce crashes and raise awareness.
Statewide from 2018 through 2019, there were 27,198 crashes involving distracted driving. Of those, 9,396 left people hurt and 88 were deadly.
Distracted Driving Enforcement Zone Locations:
- Zone 1 in Erie County: Milepost 108 to 116, eastbound and westbound lanes
- Zone 2 in Summit County: Milepost 174 to 190, eastbound and westbound lanes
“Now that we have established precedent with distracted driver enforcement zones, I hope drivers will think twice before being tempted to use their phones. It’s just not worth the risk,” said Ferzan M. Ahmed, P.E., executive director. “Our top priority is safety and this partnership is worth repeating in the future.”
“The dangers of distracted driving are apparent to everyone, yet people continue to do it,” said Staff Lt. William Haymaker, turnpike liaison. “The purpose of establishing these zones is to bring further awareness and education to the problem of distracted driving.”
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 your mind off of driving). Texting while driving is an example that results in all three types of distraction.
Drivers are encouraged to use #677 to report dangerous or impaired drivers, as well as drug activity.
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