OSHP increases patrol efforts for summer traffic surge

Published: May. 28, 2023 at 10:20 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - As millions of travelers hit the road, kicking off the summer travel season, an extra patrol presence can be expected on the highways, according to OSHP officers.

The 2023 Memorial Day weekend is expected to be the fourth busiest year in Ohio, according to AAA, who predicted more than 1.6 million people will hit the road to travel around the state.

“We’re still attributing that to the fact that folks are coming out of COVID,” said Kara Hitchens of AAA Cincinnati. “They are anxious to get on the road, anxious to get back with family and friends and anxious to make those memories.”

According to OSHP officials, Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day Weekend, and the Fourth of July, draw a lot of traffic to the roads and this is when officers see the most crashes. OSHP officers reported 15 crashes killed 18 people last Memorial Day Weekend and six of those crashes, as well as seven of the deaths, were due to an intoxicated driver.

OSHP has strategies they use to combat impaired driving with the support of other law enforcement agencies.

“We reach out to other posts for example, if the Bowling Green post has extra troopers working, they’ll come up here and work areas where we’ve identified a higher risk of impaired driving,” said OSHP Sgt. Scott Gonzales.

OSHP is reminding community members of the impact of their roads not only by promoting sober driving but being mindful of driving speeds.

“The faster you drive, the less reaction time you have to someone else doing something so give yourself as much reaction time as possible,” said OSHP Sgt. Scott Gonzales. “If you feel any type of buzz, any kind of second guess, just don’t take the chance, don’t roll the dice. It’s not worth it.”

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