Creating safer roadways is how ODOT makes aging its business
Innovations in roadway construction, transit, key to independence
May 30, 2016
By Jerry Wray, Director
Ohio Department of Transportation
I often tell people that Ohio's transportation system is the state's most valuable man-made resource. It helps people get to work, school, doctor's appointments, or the grocery store. It allows families to visit a fun attraction, like an Indians game.
However, those roadways that are so vital to our ability to travel can also be deadly. Last year, we saw a 10 percent increase in traffic deaths from the previous year. That included a 23 percent rise in deaths involving drivers over the age of 65.
ODOT is addressing this rise in older-driver related traffic crashes with the creation of a statewide committee. I'm tasking this committee with reviewing crash trends and discussing the best ways to increase safety on our roadways for older drivers. We've already started by putting edge-line striping over rumble strips and using high-reflectivity highway signs. Both help increase visibility, especially at night.
While we're making some big safety investments for drivers, we know that not every elderly Ohioan is able to drive. Each year, public transit agencies provide about 15 million rides to elderly or disabled Ohioans. That's why we're investing in equipment and software that will make public transit, especially in rural areas, more efficient.
Using a $6.8 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant, we've been able to create the Transit Tech Ohio project. It will help track rural transit vehicles in real-time and promote shared services among the various agencies that provide transport services.
These are just a few things we are doing to help aging Ohioans get from place to place as quickly and safely as possible.
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The Ohio Department of Aging is celebrating Older Americans Month with the theme: "Aging. It's Everybody's Business." All month long, we are turning our blog over to our many and various partners, from our sister state agencies to organizations and individuals working every day in our communities to build a stronger Ohio for all generations.
This article is presented for informational purposes and its posting here does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of Aging of the author, his or her organization or the opinions expressed.
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