Another New Year’s holiday has come and gone, and many Ohio drivers apparently haven’t learned their lesson.
Despite news coverage and public service announcements, there were more impaired drivers on the roads this year than last.
In Belmont County, troopers responded to 20 crashes that were not weather-related.
They handed out 190 traffic citations.
And they got eight impaired drivers off the roads on New Year’s Eve, as opposed to five last year.
The post commander says the statistics for the entire year of 2018 were revealing.
“We ended the year with five fatal traffic crashes, which is lower than the previous year,” noted Lt. James Faunda of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s St. Clairsville post. “But we still continue to see alcohol and drug impairment being a large percentage of those crashes. And also people are dying because they’re not wearing their seat belt.”
He said the crashes are initially caused by impaired, reckless or aggressive driving.
But then deaths occur because drivers or passengers are propelled around inside the vehicle–or even thrown outside–rather than being held in place by a seat belt.