Ohio State Highway Patrol

The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSP) is seeking a solution to an increase in fatal crashes in Ross and Pike counties by “targeting crash-causing violations.”

As of when the Patrol sent the press release containing this information on Jan. 14, five fatalities had occurred in four traffic crashes in Ross and Pike counties, a “sharp increase” over the same time period last year when only one fatality had occurred.

Fatal crashes this year have been contributed to three causative factors: unsafe speed, failure to yield, and not maintaining assured clear distance ahead, according to Lt. Timothy Karwatske, Post Commander of the Chillicothe Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

In addition, Karwatske notes that four of the individuals killed were not wearing a safety belt.

“Troopers along with our local law enforcement partners will be out in full force over the course of the next few weeks to remind motorists to slow down, maintain their focus on the roadway, drive sober, and put their cell phones down, as well as ensuring they buckle up,” Karwatske said.

Studies have shown that violations due to distracted driving are on the rise, he added.

“Distracted driving is any non-driving activity with the potential to distract a person from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing. Distractions can be visual, taking eyes off of the road; manual, taking hands off the wheel; or cognitive, taking the mind off of driving. Texting while driving is an example that results in all three types of distraction,” Karwatske said.

“We are finding that many times people who drive left of center or fail to yield are distracted. Troopers at the Chillicothe Post are urging people to slow down, focus on the task at hand, and to wear their safety belts.”

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