(Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images)
(SHARON TOWNSHIP) - From 2008 to 2016 there were nine fatal accidents on a five mile stretch of State Route 18 in Medina County, and 563 crashes, especially in the wintertime. Drivers, residents and local business owners have been complaining about speeders on Route 18 between I-77 and I-71 for years, said Matt Bruning, with the Ohio Department of Transportation. And ODOT has a major plan to stop it; what they're calling the first "Safety Corridor."
(Photo by ODOT)
Additional signage, turn lanes, and changes to the lights are one portion, but Bruning said they're also spending money to bring in more police officers to enforce the 55 mile per hour speed-limit. "We got approval to do this literally last week, so we're very very early in the conversation with our law enforcement partners," Bruning said.
But that conversation has never, and will not include talk of writing speeding tickets to drivers who are going a single mile over the speed-limit, although it would be within the rights of a police officer to do so, Bruning said. "I can tell you that at no point has one mile an hour tickets been a part of the conversation, that's just completely false, that's not something we're going to consider in the state of Ohio."
Bruning said the confusion may stem from a policy in Arizona, which the Phoenix News Times reported included state troopers "pull(ing) over motorists in these zones who are going just a few miles per hour over the posted speed limit." Bruning said ODOT is using some parts of the Arizona "Safety Corridor" model, but not that part.
And when they combine enforcement with further improvements in traffic flow, ODOT hopes both fatalities and crashes will decrease over the the next few years. In 2019, ODOT will improve signage and add turn lanes to the stretch of Route 18 from Windfall Road to Medina Line Road.