OHIO - Ohio taxpayers are shelling out about $4 million per year to clear highways of road debris which has played a key factor in about 7400 crashes in Ohio since 2011. Nationwide, a AAA Foundation study found that road debris resulted in approximately 39,000 crashes during the past four years. The crashes have resulted in about 39,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths.
"Road debris is a huge problem," said Amanda McFarland of the Ohio Department of Transportation.
State records show that ODOT collected enough road debris in the past three years to fill more than a million bags. That doesn't include all the metal it collects from local highways which is thrown into a designated dumpster at an ODOT yard. A second, large container holds all the tires that are found littering our highways.
The Ohio Highway Safety Patrol found that unsecured loads in Ohio killed seven people, injured 600 and damaged 7,000 vehicles since 2011.
"We often find tires, sofas, bags of trash, and various car parts," said Lt. Travis Hughes.
Mattresses, couches, lumber, satellite dishes, mufflers, car bumpers and large boxes were among the many items channel 3 news cameras spotted on local highways..
The state patrol says road debris is caused most often by motorists who fail to tie down their cargo.
Citations are issued but they amount to nothing more than a traffic ticket where in 16 other states, unsecured loads can lead to motorists being jailed.
Police advise that motorists avoid tailgating and to stay alert.