State patrol to watch drivers from the sky to make work zones safer

State patrol to watch drivers from the sky to make work zones safer
A pilot will watch for violations and then relay any necessary information to a trooper on the ground. (Source: ODOT)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (FOX19) - The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) is working with the Ohio Department of Transportation to make work zones safer.

A pilot with the OSHP Aviation Section will be watching for crash-causing violations like speed, following too close, and failure to move over.

Speed will be measured by how long it takes a vehicle to pass between a series of painted lines on the roadway, according to ODOT.

The violation time and speed information will then be given to a trooper on the ground who will stop the vehicle.

“Driving requires your full attention, especially in work zones. All the safety measures we put into place don’t matter if drivers never see them because their attention is elsewhere,” ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks said.

ODOT has reported 3,145 work zone related crashes in the state this year alone.

“Work zone crashes are preventable if drivers slow down, increase following distance, and most importantly pay attention,” Colonel Richard Fambro, superintendent of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said. “We continue to support work zone safety and make our presence known in an effort to provide a safe environment for our roadway workers.”

Signs posted along the highway will alert drivers about the increased enforcement efforts.

The pilot project could be expanded into next year depending on the results, according to ODOT.

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