Home News Ohio Combats Deadly End-of-Queue Crashes with High-Tech Traffic Warnings

Ohio Combats Deadly End-of-Queue Crashes with High-Tech Traffic Warnings


Columbus, Ohio (February 15, 2024) – In a bid to curb rising highway fatalities, Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced a new initiative today. They will deploy a network of intelligent warning systems aimed at alerting drivers of dangerous traffic slowdowns.

Thirteen high-congestion zones across major cities have been identified as priority areas. When cameras at these locations detect stopped or slow traffic, they will trigger automatic messages on nearby digital signs, warning approaching drivers of the hazard. Additionally, real-time alerts will be pushed to popular traffic apps like OHGO.

“Technology offers exciting opportunities to improve highway safety,” Governor DeWine stated. “While these systems hold great promise, safe driving remains paramount. Drivers must stay vigilant for these warnings to be effective.”

The initiative specifically targets a concerning trend – “end-of-queue” crashes. These rear-end collisions occur when drivers fail to notice slowing or stopped traffic, resulting in devastating consequences. According to ODOT, such crashes have surged to 8,811 in 2023.

Officials anticipate a 16% reduction in these crashes, translating to roughly 1,400 fewer collisions annually, once the systems are fully operational across all 13 sites. This ambitious goal underscores the project’s potential impact.

The first system went live today on I-70 westbound near the site of a fatal 2023 crash involving students. The selection process considered factors like traffic volume and crash severity. Notably, the technology resembles ODOT’s successful wrong-way driver detection systems, credited with preventing nearly 300 incidents.

“We’re proud to lead the way in deploying this innovation,” remarked ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. “These warnings, coupled with our stricter distracted driving laws, will undoubtedly save lives.”

Preliminary data reveals promising results from the new distracted driving legislation. Compared to 2022, 2023 saw a decrease of over 15,500 crashes, with a staggering 46,500 fewer incidents compared to 2019.

“Educating drivers on distracted driving and implementing this technology go hand-in-hand towards our shared goal of safer roads and fewer crashes,” expressed Colonel Charles A. Jones, Ohio State Highway Patrol superintendent. “Our mission is to ensure everyone arrives home safely, both motorists and troopers.”

The remaining systems are expected to be operational within two years, following infrastructure upgrades at the respective locations. ODOT is further exploring the potential of expanding this technology to other high-risk areas across the state.

This initiative signals a proactive approach to tackling highway safety concerns. By leveraging technology alongside stricter regulations and driver education, Ohio hopes to significantly reduce the number of preventable tragedies on its roads.