MORPC Uses Simulator To Encourage Safe Driving Habits

September 22, 2015

September is Safe Driving Awareness Month in Ohio, and MORPC has a long history of working closely with local agencies and the state to ensure that residents are safe while driving.

Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage, of Grove City, has several efforts underway that address this growing concern – the most visible being Grove City’s Distracted and Impaired Driving Simulator. Earlier this month, in recognition of Safe Driving Awareness Month, MORPC was pleased to have Grove City’s driving simulator at its commission meeting for members and staff to use.

“The simulator is mounted in a trailer that we take to area schools and public events to educate drivers on the dangers of distracted and impaired driving,” Stage said. “It is critical to educate people about the grave consequences of distracted driving, because you may get a second chance with the simulator, but you don’t get one when you’re out on the road.”

MORPC’s safety program staff actively analyzes crash data from our local roads. From those results, staff can better understand why and where crashes occur and how certain populations, behaviors and locations are more susceptible to a deadly auto accident. Distracted driving is one of the behaviors that is rapidly increasing the incidence of deaths and injuries on our roads.

In March 2010, MORPC adopted a resolution that promoted and supported legislation to reduce distracted driving. Ohio banned texting while driving in 2012. The law made texting while driving a secondary offense for adults and a primary offense for minors. Therefore, law enforcement officers can pull over a minor on the sole suspicion of texting while driving, while they cannot with adults. 

This year, state legislators have introduced HB 86 and SB 146.  Both bills would enhance the penalties for certain driving violations while the driver was distracted. At MORPC, we believe these bills would make our roads and neighborhoods a safer place to travel. 

Supporting legislation that reduces distracted driving and its effects, has been included in MORPC’s Public Policy Agenda since 2011.