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Spike strips on highway? Politicians weigh in

Posted at 5:48 PM, Mar 03, 2016

Spike strips on the highway- some say they could put an end to wrong way crashes. 

Solon Fire Battalion Chief Steve Nash said he wants them on our roads.
 
"With spikes at the top of the ramp, even if they're impaired, they're going to realize something is wrong, and if not, they're going 10 miles per hour at most," Nash said.
 
But are spike strips an economically realistic solution? newsnet5.com investigated and got a quote from a national spike strip company. 
 
 
Three feet of a high grade strip costs $1,195 and the end caps run $325. With a legal minimum lane width of 12 feet, it would cost about $5,000 to outfit one ramp.
 
There are 5,209 highway ramps in Ohio. It would cost almost $27 million to put spike strips on all of them.
 
The Ohio Department of Transportation told newsnet5.com, in a statement that they don't support the idea, based on a Texas Department of Transportation study that found the strips could pose a risk to drivers going the right way. 
 
Ohio politicians said something has to change. Senator Kenny Yuko told newsnet5.com that wrong way crash deaths are preventable.
 
"This is something that we've tolerated for far too long and we have to stop," Yuko said. 
 
Lake County Commissioner Kevin Malacek said it's time to find a solution. 
 
"We've got to look at it, there's obviously a problem there, and anything that we can do to assist and make sure the problem is being looked into, that's something I'm interested in," Malacek said.
 
newsnet5.com told Yuko about the cost associated with installing spike strips on all highway ramps.
 
"Wow, that is a lot of money, but the bottom line is what price do you put on a life. We've lost lives in Northeast Ohio. Ask those families what those lives are worth," he said.
 
Senator Sherrod Brown issued this statement on the topic:
 
Traffic accidents remain a major problem in our state, including wrong-way crashes, and unfortunately there is no single solution to end these crashes overnight...I’ll continue to push for policies that invest in infrastructure and protect public safety.
 
Ohio Rep. Dave Joyce said more research needs to be done:
 
When it comes to local roadways we always need to make sure our transportation system is safe, efficient and reliable. That includes looking at the statistics in terms of accidents.