Sunny skies and warm temperatures will greet area residents this holiday weekend as they trek to barbecues, parades and other outdoor activities during one of the busiest travel times of the year.
Logan County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jeff Anspach, left, and Sgt. Jeremy Allen of the Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol stand with their cruisers Friday at the Logan County Court Center, 140 N. Main St., gearing up for a busy holiday weekend of Logan County Click It or Ticket patrols, which continues through June 5. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MANDY LOEHR)
Local law enforcement also will be stepping up enforcement efforts with overtime hours and extra patrols this week and next week as part of the Click It or Ticket campaign to keep motorists safe during this peak travel season.
“Memorial Day weekend is kind of the official start of summertime, and this year, even more so, since many of the local schools have released for the summer and graduations have already taken place,” Logan County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jeff Anspach said Friday.
“With everything coming together, we want everybody to be safe as they’re heading out to graduation parties, family get-togethers and other celebrations.”
“There will be lots of activity throughout the county, with people headed to Indian Lake and other places to relax and have some fun,” Sgt. Jeremy Allen of the Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said. “Our departments are fully staffed and ready to go for the weekend as well.”
Logan County deputies have teamed up with the troopers of the Marysville Post, along with Bellefontaine Police Department officers and many other law enforcement agencies throughout Logan County to provide local roadway coverage for the high visibility effort. Federal grants help to cover the overtime costs associated with the extra patrols.
With the Click It or Ticket enforcement that through June 5, officers, deputies and troopers will be paying careful attention to seat belt violations, “and any other type of violation we can see,” Sgt. Allen said.
Seat belt usage, along with alcohol impairment, are the two leading factors connected to fatal crashes, Sgt. Allen related. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, almost 50 percent of occupants of fatal crashes nationwide in 2015 were not restrained, and that number climbs to as high as 70 percent in some states.
In a statewide release, troopers noted that seven of the 16 traffic deaths in Ohio during the 2015 Memorial Day weekend were related to alcohol impairment. Troopers also made a total of 546 OVI arrests during last year’s Memorial Day weekend.
To stay safe this summer and any other time of the year, law enforcement officials are urging motorists to never drive impaired and always designate a sober driver.
“The patrol will do our part to keep Ohioans safe on the roadways, especially over weekends that encourage higher amounts of travel,” Patrol Superintendent Colonel Paul A. Pride said in a release. “We see the deadly results that follow when motorists drive impaired or decide not to buckle up. We want everyone on the road to get home safe.”
Motorists can contact the state patrol at #677 to report any type of impaired drivers or drug activity.