Increase in traffic deaths prompts new road-side messages

Ohio has recently started an initiative focusing on safer driving with the creation and placement of 130 permanent signs to spread traffic safety messages such as “Drive Sober” or “Get Pulled Over.”

The prompting came from an increase in traffic deaths which totalled 487 this year, 19% higher than in 2014.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio Department of Transportation have joined forces on this initiative, which utilizes ODOT digital message boards to rotate between two messages: the year-to-date number of traffic deaths of 2015 and a traffic safety message such as Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

It is no secret that driving while impaired significantly increases the risk of an accident for the driver, and for others on the road. During this past May, fatal crashes involving alcohol tripled, making the month of May the worst number of traffic deaths in a decade.

The message boards were posted before the July Fourth weekend, with the goal of spreading awareness and caution to any traveler considering drinking and driving. Last year, the Ohio State Highway Patrol made over 760 OVI arrests just in the four days surrounding July 4th.