Ohio to begin displaying traffic fatality stats on highway message boards

Photo from the Ohio Department of Transportation.Photo from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

A drive down a road in Ohio might be a bit more grim due to the new message on electronic traffic signs: the total number of traffic deaths during 2015.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol and the state’s Department of Transportation have teamed up to try to get drivers to be safer on the highways, according to a press release from ODOT. The messages, as seen in the photo, will display the total deaths and the percentage that fatalities are up or down.

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ODOT Deputy Director Sonja Simpson plans to officially unveil the new plan today at the Ohio Department of Transportation Traffic Management Center.

Between displaying the total deaths, the signs will have safety messages such as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

Cleveland.com reported the state already had 454 confirmed traffic deaths in 2015 and another 34 “provisional” deaths that haven’t been verified. The state already has 76 more traffic deaths than at the same point in 2014.

“By utilizing the 130 permanent digital message boards across the state, ODOT and OSHP hope to change driver behavior and reverse this upward trend,” ODOT said in a press release.