Less traffic, more fatalities: Ohio State Highway Patrol looks at new and old Labor Day problems

Federal grant puts more troopers on the road

Less traffic, more fatalities: Ohio State Highway Patrol looks at new and old Labor Day problems
Ohio State Highway Patrol (Source: Facebook/ Ohio State Highway Patrol)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Traffic volume is down this year around the state as more people work from home and less people travel, but accidents and fatalities are up.

“We have seen some lighter traffic patterns due to COVID and other things, but what we haven’t seen a decrease in is our traffic fatalities and that’s where we’ve been alarmed,” says Sgt. Ray Santiago, of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Brook Park Post. “One of the things we’ve been seeing is the increase in speeds.”

Less traffic, more fatalities: Ohio State Highway Patrol looks at new and old Labor Day problems

Sgt. Santiago says speeds in excess of 100 mph are becoming more common place, resulting in more serious accidents. He says less traffic could lead to the higher speeds.

The state has registered 777 traffic fatalities so far this year, 33 more than 2019, many due to an old problem.

“We’re going to have a highly visible presence,” says Santiago of Labor Day enforcement by the Highway Patrol. “Last year, we had 12 traffic fatalities and seven of those during this same Holiday Reporting Period were due large in part to impaired driving.”

The OSHP encourages drivers who might see anyone possibly driving under the influence or driving dangerously to dial #677.

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