Patrols target I-75 construction zone in Miami County

A crackdown on reckless driving in the highway construction zone between Piqua and Sidney has netted a sharp reduction in accidents, the Ohio Department of Transportation said.

That’s despite a truck that ran off the road Tuesday that shut down Interstate 75 for a time.

The Ohio Department of Transportation launched the crackdown Aug. 1 after it recorded 12 accidents from July 10 until July 29 along Interstate 75 between the two cities.

From Aug. 1 until Aug. 31, ODOT said it’s recorded only two accidents in the zone, neither with any damage reported.

“So simply looking at the frequency before and after the increased enforcement you can see that we had a significant improvement,” ODOT spokeswoman Mandi Dillon said.

The extra patrols will be until approximately Nov. 1, ODOT said. The construction work has an interim completion date of mid-October.

ODOT worked with the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Ohio State Highway Patrol on the effort, adding extra trooper patrols in the work zone that extends from Shelby County through Miami County.

According to its assessment, ODOT said that crashes in that work zone were a result of speed and improper lane changes. The posted speed in the highway work zone is 55 mph.

ODOT said that work zones are analyzed each year to determine which qualify for the increased enforcement. This analysis includes work zone complexity, historic crash data, traffic volumes and input from law enforcement agencies, ODOT said.

In Tuesday’s accident, northbound I-75 was shut down while a semi had to be pulled from the side of the road near the County Road 25A exit. The crash happened at approximately 7:45 a.m.