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ODOT to install automated cameras, billboards targeting Ohio highway crashes

Gov. Mike DeWine and ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks stand inside ODOT's Traffic Management Center in February 2024.
Sarah Donaldson
Statehouse News Bureau
Gov. Mike DeWine and ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks stand inside ODOT's Traffic Management Center in February 2024.

New camera technology that automatically detects and alerts drivers to traffic slowdowns and standstills ahead will be installed on Ohio’s interstates and state routes within the next two years.

Through the installments, the Ohio Department of Transportation will target what it calls end-of-queue crashes. Those occur when a driver rear-ends the vehicle at the back of the line in heavy congestion on the highway—often around rush hour and sometimes causing a chain reaction.

“We've all been in that situation, particularly when we're out on the interstate, highway where traffic stops quickly, and then your concern is, you keep looking in your rearview mirror, worried about someone that's going to come up and is not going to be able to stop,” Gov. Mike DeWine said.

DeWine and the Ohio Department of Transportation announced the program rollout plans Thursday morning. The first of the 13 sites went live hours before, on Interstate 70 heading westbound near where a charter bus crash killed six in November.

The end-of-queue warning systems scan a designated section of the roadway for heavy congestion, and when it materializes, activate a billboard two miles away to warn drivers.

To start, the Columbus area will get five more automated cameras and billboards, Cleveland will get three, and Cincinnati will get four. ODOT spokesperson Matt Bruning said it will cost between $300,000 and $600,000 per site. The money will come from a mix of federal and already-budgeted state dollars.

ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks said data shows the effort could reduce end-of-queue crashes by about 16%. “That’s more than 1,400 Ohioans, getting home, to hug their kids and their spouses, pet their dog or cat, and continuing living their best life,” Marchbanks said.

The chosen locations include:

  • The innerbelt curve on Interstate 90, westbound, in Cuyahoga County
  • State Route 176, northbound, nearing the Interstate 71/I-90 merge in Cuyahoga County
  • State Route 8 at Howe Avenue in Summit County
  • Already installed: I-70, westbound, at State Route 310 in Franklin County
  • I-70, eastbound, before U.S. 33 in Franklin County
  • Interstate 670, eastbound, before State Route 315 in Franklin County
  • SR 31, southbound, before Kinnear Road in Franklin County
  • Interstate 270, southbound, before Refugee Road in Franklin County
  • I-71, southbound, before North Broadway in Franklin County
  • State Route 126, eastbound, before I-71 in Hamilton County
  • I-71, northbound, before SR-126 in Hamilton County
  • Interstate 275, westbound, after Interstate 75 in Hamilton County
  • Interstate 675, southbound, before Wilmington Pike in Greene County

ODOT could add even more sites as time goes on. But the announcement Thursday came with a familiar plea. Advanced technology won’t do much, Marchbanks said, if drivers are driving under the influence or distracted by their phones.

Sarah Donaldson covers government, policy, politics and elections for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. Contact her at