LIMA — The Ohio State Highway Patrol is conducting a 30-day distracted driving enforcement campaign along a portion of state Route 309 that has seen 600 crashes — 131 of which resulted in injuries — in the last five years, according to OSHP crash data.
Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers will monitor the section of Route 309 between Pioneer Road in Elida and Robb Avenue in Lima through the end of September as part of a statewide distracted driving campaign.
“The briefest moment of not paying attention can cause an issue,” said Lt. Timothy Grigsby, commander of the Lima post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The patrol estimated that sending or receiving a text message distracts the average driver for 4.6 seconds, which when driving 55 mph is long enough to travel the length of a football field.
Distracted driving was attributed to the deaths of 48 people in Ohio last year, according to OSHP, which reports that another 7,200 were injured as a result of distracted driving in 2019.
The enforcement campaign along the Route 309 corridor started Sunday. To alert motorists, the Ohio Department of Transportation installed signage along the corridor designating it an “enhanced enforcement area.”
“(We want) to remind folks to put the phones down,” Grigsby said. “Don’t drive distracted. Pay attention to what you’re doing.”