ODOT and its Safety partners ask motorists
to Look Up, Hang Up, and Go Slow For the Cone Zone
Columbus (Monday, September 20, 2010) – On the eve of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Distracted Driving Summit, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and its safety partners are asking all motorists to Look Up, Hang Up, and Go Slow For the Cone Zone.
ODOT - along with the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Ohio Traffic Safety Office - are educating drivers about the dangers of distracted driving in an effort to reduce the 5,000 accidents in construction zones last year.
Starting today, ODOT will display more than 500 Look Up, Hang Up and Go Slow For the Cone Zone posters at all rest areas, travel information centers, and agency facilities statewide.
According to ODOT's Safety Department, from January 1, 2010 until today, there has already been 2,967 work zone related crashes.
"It only takes seconds to travel through most work zones," said ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris. "So we are asking motorists to at least put their cell phones down when they see orange barrels. One fatality on the road is one too many - it’s time for all drivers to look up, hang up and go slow for the cone zone."
Although most drivers are aware of the dangers of texting while driving, public surveys show that both teenagers and adult drivers continue to text while driving at an overwhelming rate. However, motor vehicle crashes kill more teens than any other cause which is why the danger of texting while driving lies mostly with young teen drivers as they have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2008 nearly 20 percent of all crashes involved some type of visual, manual or cognitive distraction. In addition, a person is four times more likely to get involved into an injury crash when they are using a hand-held device and motorists are twenty-one times more likely to be involved in an accident if they are texting while driving. Texting while driving is so dangerous because it includes all three types of driver distractions.
What's more, using a cell phone while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent - according to safety research by the University of Utah.
The ban on distracted driving has become one of the nation’s most supported efforts with a number of organizations such as ESPN and Seventeen Magazine along with top celebrities including Oprah, Sir Elton John, Justin Bieber, Will Smith, Sandra Bullock and Tina Fey supporting a ban on texting while driving.
For more information visit: http://www.dot.state.oh.us/Services/Pages/SlowfortheConeZone.aspx
For more information contact:
Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640
or Your Local ODOT Communications Office