ODOT WORKS TO
PUT THE BRAKES ON FATALITIES
(COLUMBUS) - Last year on Ohio roadways there were
more than 381,000 crashes about 1,284 people were killed and more
than 141,000 people were injured. The vast majority of these crashes
This year the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is joining
the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers and other organizations
Oct. 10 to commemorate Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day. The
campaign aims to encourage drivers to adopt safer driving practices to
reduce deaths and injuries.
Ohio Fatalities Drop
In 2003, Ohio had the second-largest reduction in fatalities in the
nation, decreasing fatalities from 1,418 in 2002 to 1,277 in 2003.
Over the last two years, Ohios fatality rate fell from 1.31 to 1.16
fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, well below the
national average of 1.46 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of
Over the past decade weve made great strides in improving the
roadways and the vehicles we drive, said ODOT Director Gordon
Proctor. However, engineering is only one part of the equation. How
we drive as motorists is just as important in reducing fatalities and
In 2003, about 90 percent of fatal crashes and 89 percent of injury
crashes were classified as driver error, according to Ohio Department
of Public Safety statistics. Common causes were excessive speed,
driver inattention and alcohol.
New Programs Underway
ODOT is working to prevent injuries and fatalities through the
departments Highway Safety Program. In 2003, ODOT doubled the amount
of funding available to address high-crash locations from $30 to $65
In addition, ODOT recently expanded its OhioSafe Commute Program to
include Toledo and Dayton. The program is already underway in
Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland.
OhioSafe Commute stations law enforcement officers along the busiest,
crash-prone highways. Officers patrol these corridors to enforce the
speed limit and clear roadway crashes faster to reduce annual crashes
and save lives.
OhioSafe Commute began in 2003 as a $500,000 pilot program in central
Ohio. In 2004, ODOT spent $300,000 to expand the program to Cincinnati
and Cleveland. This year, ODOT will spend $800,000 to target existing
areas and new corridors in Toledo and Dayton. For more information on
the OhioSafe Commute Program, visit (http://www.dot.state.oh.us/ohiosafecommute/).