Patrol concerned about increase in fatal crashes

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COLUMBUS, OH (WOIO) - According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety crash statistics, current and preliminary totals revealed that this year, 566 lives have been lost on Ohio roadways in comparison to 499 in 2009 during the time frame showing a 12% increase in rural and urban fatal crashes.

The Patrol created their strategic goal known as the 24/7 Initiative in 2007 as a new way to measure success in traffic safety. The initiative's goal is a 10 percent traffic fatality reduction in Ohio by 2011. The 24/7 Initiative provides a holistic view of the efforts, challenges, and accomplishments of the Division for every hour of every day. Colonel David Dicken, Patrol superintendent, said, "Although we've experienced great strides over the past several years in our 24/7 Initiative aimed at reducing fatal crashes, I am alarmed at the recent increase." "Troopers are going to need to be vigilant at removing impaired drivers and attempting to reduce potential crashes over the next several months if we are going to meet our goal," Dicken added.

The goal of the 24/7 Initiative is to reduce serious traffic crashes and apprehend the criminal element through high-visibility, aggressive traffic enforcement and increased public awareness through the use of the media. The "24/7" moniker lets our people and the public know that we are always working to be the best we can be - 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The Patrol continues to partner with local law enforcement agencies and safety advocate groups in this effort in a facet of programs including sobriety checkpoints, mock teen crashes, education speech details and strict enforcement. Post commanders evaluate local traffic trends and develop plans to specifically target identified areas.

The Patrol is asking for public participation in this effort and reminding motorists to do their part by driving the posted speed limit, wearing safety belts and not drinking and driving.

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