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Ohio Turnpike, Ohio State Highway Patrol announced results of distracted driver enforcement zones

60 citations that included a distracted driving charge were issued in the two first-ever enforcement zones on the turnpike.
Distracted driving.

BEREA, Ohio — The Ohio Turnpike and the Ohio State Highway Patrol say many distracted drivers did not heed their warnings as the two offices jointly announced the results of a first-ever distracted driving safety initiative along two portions of the turnpike.

The Distracted Driving Enforcement Zones initiative, which began on Aug. 18 and concluded on Sept. 29, saw troopers issue 60 citations that included a charge of distracted driving within the two sections. In the zones, motorists saw an increased presence of troopers as well as electronic signage in an effort to raise awareness and reduce crashes.

"Now that we have established precedent with distracted driver enforcement zones, I hope drivers will think twice before being tempted to use their phones. It's just not worth the risk," said Ferzan M. Ahmed, P.E., Executive Director. "Our top priority is safety and this partnership is worth repeating in the future."

There were 27,198 crashes involving distracted driving throughout Ohio from 2018 through 2019, with 88 of the crashes ending in a fatalities.

Distracted driving is described as any non-driving activity with the potential to distract someone from the primary task of driving and otherwise increase the risk of crashing. Distractions can be in the form of visual (taking eyes off the road), manual (taking hands off the wheel), or cognitive (taking the mind off the task of driving). Texting is an example that results in all three types of distraction.

"The dangers of distracted driving are apparent to everyone yet people continue to do it," said Staff Lt. William Haymaker, Turnpike Liaison. "The purpose of establishing these zones is to bring further awareness and education to the problem of distracted driving."