(COLUMBUS, Ohio) (5-5-22)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Dr. Jack Marchbanks announced today that ODOT will invest $51 million into new traffic safety improvement projects to specifically address an increase in pedestrian-involved traffic crashes and fatal roadway departures on state and local roads.

Locally Ft. Recovery and St. Marys both received two of the 51 grants –

According to ODOT, fatal crashes involving pedestrians and roadway departures both hit their highest levels in 2021 when compared to the previous decade.

Governor DeWine

“This is a serious problem, and we certainly believe that distracted driving is contributing to this alarming increase in pedestrian-involved and roadway departure crashes.The funding we’re awarding today, most of which is going to local governments, will be used to make the physical changes needed to help prevent crashes, but a cultural change around distracted driving is needed as well. I continue to encourage members of the Ohio General Assembly to pass legislation to put more restrictions around mobile device usage while driving to make it clear that distracted driving won’t be tolerated in Ohio.”

Funding for these projects will be awarded through ODOT’s Highway Safety Improvement Program which, under the DeWine-Husted Administration, has grown to become one of the largest traffic safety programs in the country. The program invests $158 million annually into safety projects, education, and training to make transportation in Ohio safer.