COLUMBUS – The Ohio State Highway Patrol will be joining forces with other members of the 6-State Trooper Project to focus on distracted driving enforcement. The initiative began on Monday, April 4, at 12:01 a.m. and will continue through Monday, April 11 at 11:59 p.m.
The high-visibility enforcement will include the Indiana State Police, Kentucky State Police, Michigan State Police, Pennsylvania State Police and the West Virginia State Police, as well as OSHP.
“Last year, deaths on Ohio’s roads were at their highest since 2002, and we know that distracted driving is a big factor behind this increase,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “Distracted driving crashes are preventable. We are asking all drivers to make the choice to keep their attention on the roads so that all Ohio travelers can get home to their families.”
From 2017 through 2021, distracted driving has resulted in 226 lives lost on Ohio’s roadways. Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field when traveling at 55 mph.
“Whenever a person takes their eyes off the road – even for a split second – drivers are putting the lives of themselves and others at risk,” said Col. Richard S. Fambro. “The effects of distracted driving can be devastating.”
On Oct. 29, 2018, Ohio passed House Bill 95, a law which broadened what is considered distracted driving and increased the fine if it was a contributing factor to the commission of the driving violation.
Distracted driving is any non-driving activity with the potential to distract a person from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing. Distractions can be visual, taking eyes off of the road; manual, taking hands off the wheel; or cognitive, taking the mind off driving. Texting while driving is an example that results in all three types of distraction.
The 6-State Trooper Project is a multi-state law enforcement partnership aimed at providing combined and coordinated law enforcement and security services in the areas of highway safety, criminal patrol and intelligence sharing.