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Traffic Deaths Increasing In Central Ohio, Especially Among Pedestrians

The I-70/I-71 interchange will be getting a major redo in the coming years.
Paige Pfleger

Traffic deaths in the Central Ohio region have increased since 2013, according to a new report from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.

Fatalities have gone up nearly 30%, according to a report that looked at traffic accidents from 2013-2017.

Pedestrians accounted for more than 12% of serious injuries and fatalities. Pedestrian fatalities increased more than 60% over that time period. 

"As we increase in population over the next 30 years, we expect more people to be using our streets and more people to be walking and biking," says Stephen Patchan of MORPC. "So we want to get in front of that, identify the aspects at play that are causing the crashes and start to address those."

Patchan says alcohol, drugs and speeding were major culprits for the fatalities. 

"There’s a lot of infrastructure that we’re encouraging our jurisdictions to invest in," he says. 

The report also encourages local governments to invest in education and enforcement. In more than half of all fatalities, people in the car were not wearing seatbelts. 

A report from ODOT earlier this year found that traffic deaths across the state dipped last year by 9%. It was the first time in five years that traffic deaths have decreased. In 2018, Franklin County had the most traffic fatalities of any county in the state.