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COLUMBUS -- The Ohio State Highway Patrol will join forces with other members of the 6-State Trooper Project to focus on distracted driving enforcement.

The initiative begins Monday, April 5 at 12:01 a.m. and will continue through Monday, April 12 at 11:59 p.m.

The high-visibility enforcement will include the Indiana State Police, Kentucky State Police, Michigan State Police, Pennsylvania State Police and the West Virginia State Police, as well as OSHP.

From 2016 through 2020, distracted driving resulted in 212 lives lost on Ohio’s roadways. Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field when traveling at 55 mph.

“By driving distracted, you are putting yourself and the lives of others at risk,” said Col. Richard S. Fambro. “Every time someone takes their eyes off the road – even for just a split second, its consequences can be devastating.”

On October 29, 2018, Ohio passed House Bill 95, a law which broadened what is considered distracted driving and increased the fine if it was a contributing factor to the commission of the driving violation.

Distracted driving is any non-driving activity with the potential to distract a person from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing. Distractions can be visual, taking eyes off of the road; manual, taking hands off the wheel; or cognitive, taking the mind off driving. Texting while driving is an example that results in all three types of distraction.

The 6-State Trooper Project is a multi-state law enforcement partnership aimed at providing combined and coordinated law enforcement and security services in the areas of highway safety, criminal patrol and intelligence sharing.

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