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ODOT, Patrol urges holiday shoppers to drive cautiously
Intersection crashes increase during holidays

LIMA (December 19, 2013) – It’s a fact -- intersection crashes increase during the holiday shopping season.
In an effort to bring awareness to this trend, the Ohio Department of Transportation and Ohio Department of Public Safety is partnering to remind motorists not to be distracted while driving through busy shopping corridors or anywhere in the state this holiday season. 
Today, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio State Highway Patrol brought awareness to this trend by holding a media event on Ohio 117/309 on Lima’s east side where a safety upgrade project is just completing.
“This project is one of the best examples of how the Ohio Department of Transportation is improving travel safety by addressing areas which, over time, become high crash areas due to business development and the increased traffic which results,” said Kirk Slusher, Ohio Department of Transportation District 1 deputy director.  “Nothing will prevent all accidents from occurring, but roadway improvements, along with driver awareness and attentiveness, may help reduce the frequency of accidents,” he said.
The Ohio 117/309 east of Interstate 75 had been identified as a safety/congestion location on ODOT’s Highway Safety Program listing. The main issues were rear-end and angle accidents which were occurring along the route, most often at high-volume driveways and primarily during left-turn movements.
There were 13,585 crashes at intersections in Ohio during last year's holiday shopping season, killing 27 people and injuring 5,200.
To improve safety at intersections, ODOT has improved the reliability and visibility of signals by installing reflective back plates on signals and installing battery backup systems to maintain power to signals during outages, installed brighter LED signal bulbs, and installed enhanced signing at intersections.
Intersection safety is one of the major roadway safety initiatives in ODOT’s “Every Move You Make, Keep it Safe” campaign.  Programs include Safe Routes to Schools, Roadway Departure Crash Reduction and Intersection Safety. The public is invited to find out more by visiting www.everymove.ohio.gov.
For more information contact: Rhonda Pees, Ohio Department of Transportation District 1, 419-999-6803