Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

TLDR:

– Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) have announced a new initiative that uses technology to detect traffic congestion and warn drivers of dangerous slow-downs.
– The new warning systems will be installed at 13 highway sites in high-congestion, high-crash areas around major urban centers.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) have unveiled a new technology initiative aimed at warning drivers of dangerous traffic congestion. The initiative will utilize cameras at 13 highway sites in high-congestion, high-crash areas around major urban centers to detect slow or stopped traffic. When a congestion is detected, a message board a few miles away will be automatically triggered to alert approaching drivers. Additionally, alerts will be pushed to traffic apps like OHGO. The new warning systems are primarily focused on reducing “end-of-queue” crashes, which occur when drivers fail to recognize slowing or stopped traffic and collide with vehicles at the end of the slow-down. These crashes have been on the rise, with 8,811 cases reported in 2023. Once installed at all 13 sites, ODOT anticipates the technology will reduce these rear-end crashes by at least 16%, equivalent to a reduction of around 1,400 crashes. The first automated warning system was activated on I-70 westbound in Licking County, near the site of a fatal rear-end crash in November 2023. The remaining 12 sites were selected based on factors such as traffic congestion and the severity of rear-end crashes. The technology being used for the warning systems is similar to ODOT’s wrong-way driver detection systems currently in place in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus, which have successfully detected nearly 300 wrong-way drivers. ODOT expects all systems to be operational within two years, after necessary electrical and broadband infrastructure is set up. They are also evaluating highway locations in other parts of the state that could benefit from the new technology.