Chain-reaction crashes on the Ohio Turnpike on March 12 involved an estimated 90 vehicles. Three people were killed and a state trooper was injured.
The March 13 article “Turnpike crash kills 3; Heavy snow returns; city shuts down” said: “The collision occurred at a time when most counties in the Toledo area were under Level 3 travel bans because of the heavy, blowing snow, but authorities historically have not attempted to enforce such bans on the turnpike or area freeways.” The front-page photograph of vehicles involved in these collisions showed that most, if not all, of the colliding vehicles were trucks and semi-trailers.
Why don’t authorities enforce Level 3 bans on the Ohio Turnpike and expressways? Why does it take multiple vehicle collisions during a Level 3 traffic ban, resulting in three deaths, multiple injuries, and untold amount of property damage to get the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission and/or the Ohio Highway Patrol to close the turnpike and area expressways and enforce the traffic ban?
If the turnpike commisson and state troopers had enforced the law and closed the turnpike to traffic at 7 a.m. on March 12, this multiple series of collisions and resulting deaths and injuries could have been prevented. Does another tragedy of this nature have to occur before the governor and the General Assembly take appropriate actions?
When weather is bad, get off road
As I was driving eastbound on I-80 in Iowa last year, the weather was foggy, so I kept my speed at between 55 and 60 miles per hour until the fog lifted (“Ohio Turnpike fatalities; Patrol says bad weather, big trucks caused crashes,” March 21). That was not a good choice, because cars and large trucks were going by me like I was standing still.
My advice to highway travelers in bad weather is to get off the road, and find a coffee shop or any safe place to park until conditions improve. It’s better to be one hour or even one day late than never show up at your destination.