VAN WERT, Ohio (WFFT) — Drivers traveling on U.S. Highway 30 in Van Wert County can expect to see some new signs on the road.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio Department of Transportation are launching a "distracted driving safety corridor" on U.S. 30 in the county.
The section of U.S. 30 between Klinger Road and the Stripe Road overpass is being designated as a distracted driving safety corridor.
State troopers said from 2015 through 2019, this section of U.S. 30 had 336 crashes resulting in six deaths and 76 injuries.
As a result, OSHP says motorists will see an increased presence of troopers and ODOT signage, which are green within this area in an effort to reduce crashes.
According to ODOT, in 2019, 48 people in Ohio were killed and 7,200 were injured in 13,532 crashes as a result of distracted driving.
Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for roughly 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field when traveling 55 mph.
“The dangers of distracted driving are apparent to everyone, but motorists still choose to participate in this dangerous behavior,” said OSHP Van Wert Post Commander Lieutenant Jon Gray. “The purpose of establishing this safety corridor is to bring further awareness, enforcement, and education to the problem of distracted driving.”
Officials say distracted driving is defined as any non-driving activity with the potential to distract a person from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing.
These distractions can be visual, taking eyes off of the road; manual, taking hands off the wheel; or cognitive, taking the mind off driving.
Texting, talking on your cellphone and not using handsfree while driving are examples of distracted driving.
"Distracted driving safety corridor signage will be erected in the corridor to remind motorists to eliminate distractions while behind the wheel,” ODOT District One Deputy Director Chris Hughes said. “Similar safety corridors have been established across the state and have been found to be effective.”
The driver can use #677 to report dangerous or impaired drivers, as well as drug activity.
Additional crash information is available on the OSTATS dashboard.
The Van Wert Post partnered with @ODOT_NWOhio to establish a #DistractedDriving safety corridor on US 30 between Klinger Rd & the Stripe Rd overpass. Read the @vwtimesbulletin and tune into @wane15 & @FOX55FortWayne for the story. #DriveSafe every time you get behind the wheel. pic.twitter.com/dDCNjR4dM9
— OSHP_NWOhio (@OSHP_NWOhio) September 2, 2020