GALLIPOLIS — Faced with a growing issue of distracted driving in Ohio, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) have launched a new Distracted Driving Safety Corridor in Gallia County. The corridor, which goes from just south of State Route 218 to the Meigs County line on State Route 7, will now see targeted enforcement and increased signage reminding motorists to ditch the distractions and focus on driving.
State Route 7 has seen the highest number of distracted driving crashes for any route in Gallia County since 2019, and will be a major focus for troopers in 2021. According to OSTATS, 10,753 distracted driving crashes occurred statewide in 2020 resulting in 29 fatalities.
“The dangers of distracted driving are apparent and real, but motorists still engage in this dangerous behavior,” said Lieutenant Barry Call, OSHP Gallipolis Post commander. “This corridor is meant to bring awareness, education, and enforcement to the problem of distracted driving.”
This past week, ODOT crews installed signs to alert drivers when they enter the corridor and warn there is zero tolerance when it comes to unsafe driving behaviors. Motorists should expect to see additional troopers in the corridor, as well as increased enforcement of the violations associated with these distracted driving crashes.
“We’re pleased to partner with the Patrol on ODOT District 10’s first Distracted Driving Safety Corridor,” said ODOT District 10 Deputy Director Darla Miller. “Distracted drivers compromise the safety of everyone on the road. By establishing this corridor in Gallia County, we hope to raise awareness, reduce crashes, and save lives.”
Distracted driving safety corridors have proven effective in other areas of the state, most notably the state’s first safety corridor along I-76 and I-80 in Youngstown where deadly and injury crashes decreased by more than 30 percent.
Additionally, serious injury and fatal crashes have been reduced by nearly 70 percent in a Distracted Driving Safety Corridor which was established last summer on I-70/I-470 in Belmont County.
The public is encouraged to use #677 to report dangerous or impaired drivers, as well as drug activity. Additional crash information is available from the OSTATS dashboard.
Information provided by ODOT.