Ohio bill would mandate centerline rumble strips

October 30, 2019

Keith Goble

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An Ohio Senate panel recently held initial discussion on a bill to mandate centerline rumble strips on two-lane highways. More than half of all states utilize the safety feature.

In 2018, state Rep. Tim Ginter, R-Salem, said there were 1,385 reported collisions on Ohio’s undivided and state routes caused by a vehicle crossing the center line. There were 78 fatalities.

The Federal Highway Administration has provided figures that show centerline rumble strips reduce fatal and injury crashes by 38% to 50% on rural two-lane roads, and by 37% to 91% on urban two-lane roads.

The Senate Transportation Committee has discussed a bill to require the state Department of Transportation to install centerline rumble strips on two-lane state highways posted with speeds exceeding 45 mph. House lawmakers acted earlier this year to approve the bill by unanimous consent.

Ginter’s bill, HB51, specifies three conditions that would require rumble strips to be added along affected roadways. The strips would be included during construction of a new highway, during major repair work, or during resurfacing work.

Exceptions would be made for certain areas of highway, including intersections and turn lanes.

According to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, installing rumble strips on all two-lane highways would cost ODOT from $700 to $1,025 per mile.

Revenue to do the work would comes from the state’s Highway Operating Fund. The fund is supported by the Federal Highway Trust Fund and the state’s fuel tax.

As of now, Ginter said the Ohio Department of Transportation is installing centerline rumble strips on a case-by-case basis.

“To their credit, (ODOT) is moving forward in that area,” Ginter told the committee.

Nevertheless, he said more needs to be done.

“My intention is not to force an agency to do something they are already doing. I believe these are so important they need to be put in everywhere they feasibly could be.”

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Keith Goble

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.