According to figures released by the Ohio Highway Patrol, we are coming off of the safest year on Ohio roadways since they started keeping records.
The Highway Patrol says less than 1,000 people statewide died in traffic crashes on Ohio’s roadways last year, the lowest number since the patrol began keeping records back in 1936. In the six-county area, which includes Williams, Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding, and Putnam counties, there were 28 fatal crashes in 2013. So far in 2014, there have been 14 fatal crashes in the six county region.
Troopers say the majority of tickets they write are for speed and safety belt violations, even though safety belt violations are a secondary offense, meaning troopers must observe another violation and cannot stop a vehicle based on the safety belt violation alone. They do say though, that it is an offense for which the patrol has a zero-tolerance policy.
They say that while distracted driving is getting a lot of attention, it has always been a problem.
In years earlier, it was drivers changing 8-track tapes or cassettes, now it’s mobile phones.
And while teen drivers often are cited for their driving inexperience, police say another demographic that contributes to a large percentage of crashes is seniors.
Slower reaction times, decreased vision and impaired hearing are just some of the factors that can affect drivers as they get older according to the Highway Patrol, which aslo suggested that people should consider having a conversation with their older family members or friends if they start to see that their driving is affected.