Troopers to start patrolling U.S. 42 by air

Police to start monitoring area highways from the air to stop speeders 

The aim is to reduce the high number of fatal accidents in the region. In Spring Valley Twp. alone, there were  22 or so crashes that have occurred on the highway, between Clear Springs and Spring Valley-Paintersville roads, in the past four years, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said Tuesday. 

Ohio Department of Transportation crews on Tuesday started preparing the roadways to be monitored from the air by using a propane fueled torch to to apply white air strips to the roads. 

OSP to cite driver who reached for cell phone, caused crashes on I-75 in Tipp City 

The strips are being placed on either side of the yellow lines in the middle of the road, and they’ll act as targets for the pilots from the air. 

“So we have a pilot that flies overhead and when a vehicle passes the first white line they start a stopwatch,” said Lt. Matt Schmeak of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. “And when the vehicle passes the second line they'll stop (the watch), and with our stop watch has a speed built into (it) and it'll tell exactly how fast the speed of the vehicle is.”

The technology is more accurate than radar guns that officers use from their cars to catch speeders, he said. 

Troopers are going to extreme measures to prevent fatal crashes, including one in which two people died on U.S. 42 and Spring Valley-Paintersville Road when they crashed their motorcycle into a car in October, Schmeak said. As a result of such accident, OSHP has been working since February to get the air strips installed, he said.

Victims in Greene County double fatal motorcycle crash identified

In addition to watching for speeders from the sky, Troopers and sheriff’s deputies will be posted along the side of the road to pull over speeding and aggressive drivers, Schmeak said. 

“And then when we stop them, just take that extra step to go above and beyond, and talk to them and educate them about the issues we've been having in this area,” he said. 

In addition to monitoring portions of U.S. 42 from the sky, law enforcement officials will monitor several other highways in Southwest Ohio. Below is a list of the counties and the highways:

  • Greene IR-675 north at milepost 8. 
  • Miami IR-75 at milepost 84 
  • Clark IR 70 at milepost 47 & MP 68 
  • Preble IR-70 east of US-127 
  • Warren IR-71 at milepost 31 
  • Butler IR-75 at milepost 20 
  • Shelby IR-75 at milepost 84 
  • Champaign US-68 north of Urbana 
  • Mercer SR-29 east of SR-703 
  • Darke no update 
  • Logan US 33 near Valley Hi and US-33 west of SR-287 
  • Auglaize IR-75 south of US-33

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.