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Government & Politics

Ohio Department of Transportation Reminds Drivers to Be Safe as Number of Traffic Fatalities Climb

Ohio Department of Transportation logo
Ohio Department of Transportation
2020 was the deadliest year on the state's roads in a decade, the Ohio Department of Transportation says. Even with reduced traffic as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic deaths increased about 16 percent.

With the coronavirus pandemic keeping traffic volume down by about 15 percent, 2020 was still the deadliest year on Ohio roadways in the past decade.

The Ohio Department of Transportation continues to remind drivers to be safe as the number of fatalities on the roads increases.

As of mid-July, traffic deaths in Ohio were up about 16 percent compared with the same point in 2020, according to ODOT spokesman Matt Bruning.

Bruning says this number is concerning to the department, and he hopes that they can reverse the trend for the second half of 2021.

“The vast majority of these traffic deaths are completely preventable. We just need drivers to buckle up, to pay attention, slow down, drive sober, and drop the distractions," Bruning said. "If we do those things, we know we can reverse this trend and end the year on a positive note.”

The Ohio General Assembly has introduced a couple of bills to help curb distracted driving, including House Bill 283 that bans using an electronic device while driving.

Bruning says ODOT will continue to make the roads in Ohio as safe as possible but that safety is “quite literally” in the hands of individual drivers.