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DRIVERS: State Route 18 becomes Safety Corridor next week

Posted at 5:57 PM, Oct 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-16 17:57:32-04

State Route 18 in Medina County is a dangerous stretch of road News 5 has been looking into for years.

It's the five-mile stretch of road connecting I-71 and I-77, where many drivers continue driving like they're on an interstate, but that won’t be the case for much longer.

ODOT and Highway Patrol are teaming up to make it safer. The stretch of road will become a first of its kind design: A Safety Corridor. It starts Monday, Oct. 22.

"We wanna save lives," Lt. Mark Neff, with Ohio Highway Patrol, told News 5. 

According to ODOT, there have been 683 accidents reported and 10 lives lost on State Route 18 from 2008 to 2017.

"We're still steadily seeing an increase in accidents," said Crystal Neelon with ODOT. 

The road has officially been deemed dangerous. 

"It's a very dangerous section of roadway," Neelon explained. 

News 5 reported in this same area a couple years ago, when an idea to put a median in the road to curb accidents made quite the controversial splash.

The small businesses that line the road worried a median would cause such an inconvenience they'd lose customers, and ultimately, the median didn’t happen.

Now, sometime later, ODOT and Highway Patrol are teaming up for the new proactive measure they're taking now. 

"It is about keeping people safe and saving lives," Neelon said.

"You'll see more of a presence. We will be focused on crash-causing violations. Unsafe speed. Following too close. The main thing I'd like to emphasize, pay attention to posted speed limits," Lt. Neff said.