Wood County deputies stepping up patrols now through the new year

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - Whether picking up a last second gift or heading out to see loved ones, people are taking to the roads and traveling for the busy holiday season.

"We're just going to spend time with the family and enjoy each other," a Rossford shopper told 13abc.

According to AAA, a record 4.6 million Ohioans will travel more than 50 miles from home this holiday. More than 90 percent will do so by car, truck or van.

“Family tonight, family tomorrow, and then friends the rest of the week," said Zack Niehaus of his holiday plans.

No matter where you're going in Wood County during the next week, deputies will be on the road making sure you're staying safe thanks to the Ohio Traffic Safety Office.

“We want people to get where they’re going safely," said Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn.

The sheriff says money from the grant will be used to target parts of the county with a history of traffic problems and other issues.

"Seeing those red and blue lights flashing slows all the other traffic down," said Wasylyshyn.

While deputies will look for all violations, the extra patrols will seek out aggressive and distracted drivers as well as those who may be under the influence.

"Unfortunately, some of those people choose to socialize with alcohol and get behind the wheel of a vehicle," said Wasylyshyn. "That's where it gets to be dangerous for not only for themselves, but certainly the other people that are on the roads."

With a "zero tolerance" policy for drinking and driving, as well as seat belt violations, Wasylyshyn says the beefed up patrols are all in an effort to keep people safe.

"With those extra deputies out there we're hoping that will be one more thing that will encourage people to follow the laws so they can safely get to where they're going," said Wasylyshyn.

The Wood County sheriff's holiday safety blitz runs from now through January 2, 2019.