ODOT targets safety with installation of new rumble 'stripes' on eastern Ohio roadways
New Philadelphia, Ohio (Monday, August 16, 2010) – Nationwide, approximately 60 percent of traffic crash fatalities occur when vehicles run off the road. To reduce the number of such crashes, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 11 will begin installing rumble strips next Monday, August 23rd, on the edge line of its two-lane system, including 236 miles of eastern Ohio roadways.
Driving over a rumble strip makes noise and causes vehicles to vibrate. Rumble strips act as alarms for drivers, letting them know if their vehicle has veered out of its lane. They "sound the alarm" and get drivers’ attention, before it’s too late.
Between 2010 and 2011, ODOT will invest $25 million statewide on systematic safety improvements. These are safety improvements that can be installed across hundreds of miles for a relatively small public investment. As part of the program, edge line rumble ‘stripes’ will be installed on 1,625 miles of rural, two-lane roads at a cost of $3.6 million -- District 11’s project cost is $302,980.
They are called ‘stripes’ when the edge line pavement marking is placed on top of the rumble strip. This method increases the reflectivity of the pavement marking, making it easier to see the edge of pavement, especially at night and in wet weather.
Rumble 'stripes' will be installed on various routes in six of District 11’s counties, excluding Holmes. ODOT has tried to avoid placing the 'stripes' on heavily traveled bike routes and has placed 10-foot gaps in the rumble stripe for bikes to maneuver in and out of the lane. Warning signs will also be posted to alert all riders to the change in pavement conditions. Due to noise concerns, the department also avoids residential areas, where possible.
"Rumble strips have been used in Ohio and across the U.S. for years, typically on shoulders of freeway systems," said Halle Jones Capers, deputy director of Highway Operations. "In recent years, some states have begun the use of rumble stripes. Due to their smaller size, rumble stripes can be implemented on the two-lane system as well."
Edge line rumble stripes are a proven method to prevent run-off-road crashes, or fixed-object crashes, which occur when motorists veer from the travel lane and collide with objects such as trees, ditches or utility poles or cause nearby property damage.
Fixed-object crashes are one of the leading causes of serious injuries and deaths in Ohio. These crashes represent about 35 percent of all fatalities and 30 percent of all serious injuries in Ohio each year. National studies have shown that rumble strips and stripes can decrease crashes by 20 to 35 percent.
Traffic will be maintained during this work. ODOT's contractor for this project in District 11 is Surface Preparation Technologies Inc., from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and the completion date is September 30, 2010. However, the contractor anticipates this work being completed within two weeks.
ODOT reminds motorists to SLOW DOWN for the "Cone Zone;" turn on headlights and drive carefully in work zones. Drive responsibly for your safety and the safety of the highway workers. Remember, fines in work zones are doubled for not obeying traffic signs. Minimize distractions – turn OFF cell phones in construction zones. Remember to always buckle up.
For more information contact:
Becky Giauque \Jee-awg\, Public Information Officer, at (330) 308-3949
or email D11.PIO@dot.state.oh.us
ODOT District 11 serves Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson and Tuscarawas counties.