Ohio State Highway Patrol Announces Safe Christmas on Area Roads | News, Sports, Jobs


Photo by Robert A. DeFrank Motorists took to the road to enjoy the holidays this Christmas weekend, with seven crashes locally and no fatalities.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported that many people had a merry Christmas on the road this weekend, with fatalities decreasing.

Provisional statistics released this week by the Ohio State Highway Patrol show fewer motorists were killed on Ohio roads during the Christmas vacation compared to the previous three years.

During the four-day reference period, Thursday through Sunday, seven people were killed in seven fatal crashes. The report adds that three of those killed in fatal crashes while on vacation were not wearing seat belts.

Nine people were killed in 2020, during a reference period of December 24-27. In 2019, 12 people were killed on December 24 and 25.

Soldiers also removed 162 impaired drivers from Ohio roads over the holiday weekend, an increase of nearly 12% from last year.

The roads have remained safe locally.

“It was pretty quiet for us which is not a bad thing,” said Lt. Maurice Waddell of the St. Clairsville Post. “I had nothing fancy when it came to traveling for Christmas. From December 23 to 26, we only had seven traffic accidents. … I would say for the Christmas holidays that’s about normal, and it looks like they’ve had a total of… 185 calls handled, which means we get along well with traffic stops. … We have not had any serious injury accidents.

Now the soldiers are preparing for the New Year and the end of the holidays.

“As New Years Eve approaches, around this time, it’s usually slow. A lot of people are responsible. They make arrangements before they go to a rally or something… so that they can go home if they decide to drink. Hopefully this trend continues through New Years Eve and New Years’ Day, ”Waddell said.

While a significant spike in drivers is not expected this weekend, federal overtime is available for highway patrol officers on the highway.

“We will still have soldiers looking for impaired drivers during this time,” Waddell said. “Usually around New Years the only thing we sometimes have trouble with is drunk driving. When it comes to travel, we don’t really see a lot of travel or an increase on the highway during this time. Drunk driving arrests are usually what we see, but not out of the norm for another weekend.

In addition, all signs point to good weather for the next vacation.

“It’s a good thing. We don’t have to worry about weather-related accidents or anything like that,” Waddell said.

Motorists are reminded to plan ahead and designate a sober driver or make other arrangements to ensure that everyone arrives safely at their destinations.

The public is encouraged to continue to dial 677 to report dangerous or impaired drivers, as well as drug-related activity. A statistical analysis of vacation patrol enforcement activity is available at statepatrol.ohio.gov/doc/christmasholidayreport2021.pdf.

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