OHIO VALLEY — After a relatively safe Christmas holiday, motorists are being asked to help bring a safe end to 2012 according to a news release by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The Patrol is asking motorists to help bring a safe end to 2012 by not driving impaired, buckling-up and keeping their focus on the road. Last year in Ohio, eight people died in OVI-related crashes between Christmas and New Year’s. This is down from 15 in 2009 and 14 in 2010.
During this year’s two-day Christmas Holiday reporting period of 12 a.m. December 24 through 11:59 p.m. on December 25, five people were killed in traffic-related crashes, with three deaths attributed to impaired driving.
Those traffic fatalities were in Hamilton County in the southwest portion of the state, Licking County in central Ohio, and Fulton and Lucas counties in northwest Ohio.
Southeast Ohio saw a relatively low number of traffic incidents over the Christmas holiday, with 45 incidents in Meigs County and 47 in Gallia County. Incidents throughout the state include things such as aggressive driving, crashes, safety belt, operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) and suspended license.
Franklin County has the most incidents handled by the Ohio State Highway Patrol over the Christmas Holiday with 225. There were 5,351 incidents statewide in the 48 hour period.
“We are seeing positive results from the hard work of our troopers on the road everyday removing impaired and dangerous drivers from the roadways,” said Colonel John Born, Patrol superintendent.
Year-to-date troopers have made an additional 944 more OVI arrests than when compared to the same time period last year- preliminary data shows OVI-related fatal crashes down 18 percent.
“Party hosts and drivers have a shared responsibility to prevent alcohol-related crashes,” according to Brian Newbacher, Director of Public Affairs, AAA East Central. “Hosts need to plan how they are going to approach the challenging situation of a guest who is inebriated but plans to drive home. Preparation can prevent an awkward and potentially deadly situation,” he explained.
The public is encouraged to continue using #677 to report impaired drivers and drug activity.