The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

July 25, 2013

I-80 Challenge: No fatal crashes


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OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA — Police from California to New Jersey are ramping up traffic safety enforcement on Interstate 80 during one of the busiest travel times of the year.

Both Pennsylvania State Police and Ohio State Highway Patrol are among police in 11 states participating in the weeklong initiative that runs through July 31, news releases from both departments said.

“I-80 Challenge” is an effort to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities along the Interstate 80 corridor during the summer vacation period.

The goal of the eight-day enforcement effort is to have zero fatalities on I-80 nationwide.

The initiative, coordinated by the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, was developed following targeted research which highlighted an increase in traffic fatalities along Interstate 80 during the summer.

In both Ohio and Pennsylvania, troopers will be providing increased enforcement efforts while providing a highly visible presence throughout the corridor.

Troopers will concentrate on factors that cause crashes such as failure to use seat belts, drunken driving and distracted driving.

According to NHTSA statistics, more than 21,000 motorists were killed in traffic crashes in 2011.

Of those, 52 percent were not wearing seat belts. About 9,900 people were killed in drunken driving crashes, more than 3,300 died in crashes involving a distracted driver and nearly 10,000 people died in speeding- related crashes.

The departments are asking motorists to make safe driving a priority to achieve the initiative’s goal of zero fatalities. Motorists are reminded to obey the posted speed limit, wear seat belts at all times, and limit distractions while driving.

Interstate 80 traverses 2,900 miles from New Jersey to California.