Oprah’s National No Phone Zone Day
ODOT urges No Phones in Construction Zones
COLUMBUS (Friday, April 30, 2010) - You might say the O in ODOT represents Oprah today.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is joining forces with celebrity Oprah Winfrey to urge “No Phones in Construction Zones” - as part of Oprah’s first National No Phone Zone Day to be featured on her national television talk show Friday.
“With all the variables in work zones - the cones, signs, equipment and workers - it’s even more important to pay attention, slow down and hang up the phone in the cone zone,” said ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris. “Simply putting down the phone while traveling through construction zones could help save lives.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Oprah.com, a recent study found that 71 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 49 admit to texting or talking on the phone while driving.
This year, Ohio safety experts are taking special aim at motorists who are using cell phones while driving through highway construction zones.
In 2009, there were 5,012 crashes in work zones along Ohio’s roadways. 13 people lost their lives. While the numbers are down from the year before, it still represents one work zone crash every two hours in Ohio.
With more than 1600 transportation construction projects underway this summer - with projects in every county in the state - safety experts say it’s even more critical that drivers be alert, avoid distractions such as cell phone, and follow posted speed limits when traveling through construction zones.
An ODOT analysis shows that the causes of most work zone related crashes are speeding, vehicles following too close together, and drivers making improper lane changes.
To help drivers safely navigate Ohio’s historic construction season, ODOT is offering the latest information on all of the construction projects in Ohio that might impact travel on www.BuckeyeTraffic.org. ODOT’s premier website offers up-to-the-minute road conditions and details on highway construction projects in every area of the state.
For more information contact:
Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640
or Your Local ODOT Communications Office