A busy holiday weekend is about to begin for law enforcement officers around the region, as they ramp up patrols for Independence Day.
For the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the holiday weekend starts at midnight Thursday. They clock the period from that time until 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
In that time, the Highway Patrol will have one hundred percent of their personnel out on the roads, looking for impaired drivers, aggressive drivers, and people not wearing their seat belts.
Officers said statistics both nationally and locally prove they are vital. “When we look at fatal crashes in Belmont County, 62 percent of those who are killed are not wearing a safety belt,” said Lt. James Faunda. “When we compare that to injury crashes, the opposite’s true. 86 percent of people involved in an injury crash are wearing their seat belts. So the statistics alone show that seat belts do save lives.”
In the Ohio Valley, a ticket for not wearing a seat belt can run anywhere from $75 to $200.
Lt. Faunda also urges anyone who wants to drink to either designate a driver or call a cab.
Drivers should also allow extra time to get to their destinations, because the roadways will be more congested than usual with holiday traffic.