Ohio installing highway traffic warning system

February 19, 2024

Land Line Staff


A new highway warning system will be installed at 13 sites in Ohio that have been identified as high-congestion and/or high-crash areas by the state’s Department of Transportation.

The system includes cameras that will detect slow or stopped traffic and automatically send an alert to a message board a few miles away alerting oncoming traffic.

Alerts also will be disseminated through OHGO and additional traffic apps, according to an Ohio Department of Transportation news release.

“I’m incredibly proud of the efforts our team has made to ensure Ohio is leading the way when it comes to deploying these new resources,” ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks said in a statement. “These new warning systems, combined with Ohio’s toughened distracted driving laws, will surely save lives.”

State officials have said the system is aimed specifically at reducing the number of “end-of-queue crashes” on Ohio highways. This type of crash increased to more than 8,800 in 2023, according to ODOT.

“As technology continues to evolve, we’re always looking for new ways to help prevent serious and fatal crashes on our highways,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said. “Although we’re confident that these warning systems will help prevent crashes, there is still no substitute for safe driving. For these signs to be effective, drivers must be paying attention.”

ODOT estimated a 16% (or a 1,400-crash) reduction in rear-end crashes with the installation of this system at the locations on the map below.


On Thursday, Feb. 15, the first of these 13 sites was activated on Interstate 70 eastbound at State Highway 310. This particular site is near the location of a November 2023 crash involving a charter bus carrying students from the Tuscarawas Valley Local School District. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported six fatalities resulted from that crash.

ODOT said it expects all sites to be operational within the next two years. Additional highway locations in the state will be evaluated for potential installation of this technology.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, data shows new distracted driving laws in the state already have reduced the number of crashes compared to previous years.

“Education of distracted driving, along with this technology, will help achieve our mutual goals of increasing safety on our roads and reducing serious crashes,” said Col. Charles A. Jones, Ohio State Highway Patrol superintendent. “We, as troopers, take it to heart that our job every day is to ensure that motorists make it home to their families, and we make it home to ours.” LL

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