COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A holiday message from the state highway patrol aims to keep drivers off the naughty list by not having them drive drunk or distracted.
Troopers will be stepping up enforcement through the holidays in an effort to keep the roads safe.
It’s all about saving lives and getting people to where they need to go. The Ohio State Highway Patrol wants drivers to know they’re out on the roads this week because they just want to make sure we all can enjoy the holiday season, but they want us to do it safely.
During the Christmas weekend in 2018, there were 10 crashes in Ohio with 11 fatalities.
One happened near New Albany. A multi-car crash killed one person.
“You know, we don’t see that as just a number,” said Tiffiany Meeks with OSHP. “That’s somebody’s brother, somebody’s sister, somebody’s mother that’s not coming home.”
Meeks said out of those 10 crashes in 2018, seven were not wearing seat belts, six were OVI-related crashes, but she’s more impacted by the deaths.
“Talk about 10 crashes that resulted in 11 fatalities — that’s how many door knocks that we have to make that we don’t want to,” she said.
Door knocks that change the lives of so many.
“We remember those ones that we knocked on the doors. We remember those ones that aren’t going to come home to their loved ones,” Meeks said.
It’s why OSHP is urging drivers to be smart during the holiday season and why they’ll be out watching.
“We’re definitely going to be highly visible,” said Meeks. “We’re out there 365 days a year to make sure that the motorist of Ohio go home to their families and that we go home to ours.”
It’s an attempt to stop tragedy before it occurs.
Increasing their visibility to make you think twice before getting behind the wheel distracted or drunk.
They want all drivers to be smart and safe.
“Check your speed, wear your belt, put your phones down and just drive,” she said.
Drivers on the road who see someone driving recklessly can dial #677 on their phones. It will route the caller to the nearest OSHP patrol post and alert troopers so they can immediately get help to that driver.