For informational/historical purposes only.

The Ohio Department of Transportation & The Office of Governor Bob Taft
November 21, 2005



COLUMBUS (November 21, 2005) The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) today announced that it received two national safety awards from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF) last week. ODOT was one of fourteen organizations across the country recognized for its unique approach to making the states roads safer.

As more vehicles travel our roads every year, safety continues to be a top priority for ODOT, said Governor Bob Taft. Nationally, motor vehicle fatalities are the leading cause of death for all Americans from age six to age 33. Ohio is committed to doing its part to reduce fatalities and make our roads as safe as possible for Ohioans and other motorists.

In 2003, ODOT began placing greater emphasis on gathering timely crash data to identify emerging trends and quickly implement solutions to reduce fatalities and crashes. To support this, ODOT doubled its annual funding for improving high-crash locations from $30 million to $65 million annually.

In 2004, ODOT initiated a new crash analysis program designed to identify work zone configurations that contribute to crash problems. The program uses historical and near real-time crash data to detect increases in crashes. The department can then quickly respond by identifying problems and modifying the work zones to prevent future crashes.

The strategic changes are showing results: in 2004, Ohio experienced 1.14 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, which translated into 1,285 fatalities on Ohios roads, well below the national rate of 1.48 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

ODOTs goal is to reduce fatalities on Ohios roads to less than 1,100 deaths per year by 2008, said ODOT Director Gordon Proctor. Reaching this goal will require working across jurisdictional boundaries and constantly reviewing crash data and our procedures to make sure were dedicating the right resources to the right crash problems.

ODOT studies and addresses hundreds of locations annually, including the top 200 non-freeway and top 50 freeway high-crash locations. The department also addresses hot spots where crashes exceed set thresholds and congested locations statewide. Over the last two years, the department has delivered more than 700 low-cost safety projects as well as increased safety by reducing guardrail deficiencies by 75 percent, signing deficiencies by 67 percent, shoulder drop offs by 88 percent and pavement marking deficiencies by 55 percent. ODOT is also working with local governments, businesses and others to develop a comprehensive highway safety plan for the state.

The FHWA and the RSF present bi-annual Roadway Safety Awards to programs and projects across the nation exhibiting excellence in roadway design, operations and planning.