Law enforcement using different methods to cut down on injury crashes

Speeding Solutions
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COLUMBUS - There is a growing concern for law enforcement on the highways: speeders.

The problem only increases as the greater central Ohio area continues to grow.

“The Columbus area is a booming area right now. There are a lot more people moving to the area so that's contributing to the increased traffic,” said Lt. Michael Akers, post commander for the Ohio State Highway Patrol Metro Post. “Therefore, the more congestion, the more speeding that goes on and that all results in more crashes.”

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To slow things down, various jurisdictions around and within the Outerbelt are trying different approaches.

In Reynoldsburg, police are writing more warnings to educate drivers, rather than just enforce rules alone.

Hilliard, among other police departments, is rolling out temporary speed limit signs that not only raise awareness and slow traffic but also record speeds allowing officers to focus their enforcement on areas with the greatest need.

Grove City is one of several police departments that use a system called Stealth Stat, which collects, evaluates and charts traffic data to identify speed-related issues in the community.

But while speeding causes many crashes, Columbus Police explained that they are working across lines with Ohio State Highway Patrol to cut back on injury accidents caused by a wider range of issues, including everything from speeding to reckless driving behavior.

The practice is called selective enforcement.

For example, “To the public what you would see is, you’d be driving through the Interbelt on I-670 and you may see two Columbus cars, two highway patrol cars and maybe a motorcycle,” said Lt. Paul Weiner, traffic operations for the Columbus Division of Police.

Lt. Weiner explained that the method of combining Columbus Police with Highway Patrol crews is meant to be a show of force to drivers who don’t pay attention to speed limits or who show signs of distracted or reckless driving behavior.

Along with speeding, other problems police say they see often include drivers changing lanes improperly or following too closely.

“We’re trying to kind of create those patterns with drivers like maybe 'this is a place I should use more caution,” he said.
The selective enforcement is in addition to the regular patrols that officers make around central Ohio.

“They’ll do it for a couple of hours, maybe two or three hours, and then they’ll do it again next week and we’ll continue to do that over a six-month period of time,” Lt. Weiner said. “And then we’ll stop and look at the data and say, ‘Hey, did we have an impact on reducing crashes there?’”

That data includes crash numbers and written tickets. Every few months, Columbus police and highway patrol use the information to focus in on specific zones deemed to be dangerous.

“I hope that people get a little aggravated with us and I hope that people put it on social media you know, and warn that we’re there because really what we’re trying to do is gain compliance,” Lt. Weiner said.

10TV checked in with a few local jurisdictions to find out where they see the most speeding violations.

Dublin Police report high volumes of speeders on I-270 between Sawmill Road and Rings Road, as well as US-33 between the west corporation limit and Frantz Road.

In Hilliard, the main thoroughfares tend to see the most speeders, according to police. Those roadways include Scioto Darby Road, Cemetery Road, Davidson Road, Britton Parkway, Trueman Boulevard, and I-270.

Reynoldsburg police tell 10TV they see high volumes of speeders on their main thoroughfares as well, including East Main Street, Livingston Avenue, and Brice Road.

Reynoldsburg police also tell 10TV that some of their residential roads, including Graham Road, Lancaster Avenue and Rosehill Road, pick up the most speeding violations.

Some of the reasons for the speeding in these areas, according to Reynoldsburg Police, include the location of multiple residential developments situated between Broad Street, Main Street and Livingston Avenue, as well as several schools located in residential areas, which can also increase traffic.

Stay up-to-speed on the traffic near you. Tune in to 10 This Morning each day starting at 4:25 a.m. for live traffic reports.