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ODOT Establishes New Distracted Driving Safety Corridor in Licking County

ODOT crews begin installing signs along new distracted driving safety corridor

JACKSONTOWN - The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) are teaming up once again to establish a new distracted driving safety corridor in central Ohio. A 12-mile stretch of State Route 161/State Route 37 between New Albany and Granville in Licking County is the latest location for targeted enforcement and increased signage to encourage safe driving. 

"Distracted driving is happening at an alarming rate throughout Ohio, and all drivers must do their part to reverse this trend," said Governor Mike DeWine. "Corridors like this one will educate drivers about the dangers of driving distracted and reinforce that nothing is more important than keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes and attention on the road." 

ODOT crews began installing signs along the road today to alert drivers when they enter the corridor and warn that there is zero tolerance when it comes to unsafe driving behaviors. Motorists should also expect to see increased enforcement by OSHP. 

"We've seen great success building awareness through the use of distracted driving safety corridors in other areas of the state," said ODOT District 5 Deputy Director Jason Sturgeon. "In less than a year, the safety corridor on U.S. 33 in Fairfield County saw a dramatic decrease in crashes and fatalities, prompting a decision to relocate the corridor to Licking County."

From 2018 - 2020, there were approximately 200 crashes on the SR 161/37 corridor between Beech Road and State Route 16, nearly a quarter of which resulted in an injury or fatality. According to OSHP, troopers have issued 169 distracted driving citations in Licking County since 2020. 

"The Granville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol encourages all drivers to remove unnecessary distractions from their daily commute," said Lt. Aaron Vollmer, Post Commander. "Needless distractions have directly caused 64 serious injury crashes in Licking County since 2020 with many more having distracted driving as a contributing circumstance. Do your part and limit distractions to ensure you and your loved ones arrive home safe." 

ODOT and OSHP will continue to identify ways to educate drivers on the importance of following traffic laws and eliminating dangerous driving behaviors, ultimately striving for safer roads throughout Ohio.