A regular meeting for the Safe Communities of Pickaway County Coalition turned into a celebration of local law enforcement, and an activity to highlight the pending kick off to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”. The annual Law Enforcement Awards highlights those individuals within the local law enforcement community for their work in enforcing impaired driving laws, or for education to the general public. This year, the Coalition added an award to highlight an individual or group who works to prevent impaired driving through advocacy, education, or volunteer efforts. The “Community Award” was made possible through nominations of Coalition members, and was also a part of the award ceremony today.
“We are very honored to work with the men and women of law enforcement in our efforts to save lives through education and public awareness that is the core priority of the Safe Communities of Pickaway County program”, noted Teresa C. Carper, Director for the program. “With the efforts of law enforcement, and the many hours they work to keep our roadways safe, the Safe Communities of Pickaway County program is dedicated to recognize those who go above and beyond to save lives.”
The following members of law enforcement were recognized at the August 13th meeting held at the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office”:
*Ashville Police Department: Officer Tyler Devoe
*Circleville Police Department: Officer Matthew Hafey
*Ohio State Highway Patrol: Trooper Terry D. Vollmer
*Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office: Cpl. Christopher H. Hempstead
The first annual “Community Award” was presented to Tina Bobek, who retired as the nurse for Teays Valley High School this past school year. Ms. Bobek was nominated for her work with teens and her efforts to promote safe driving habits to students within the school. She has also served with the Safe Communities of Pickaway County Coalition since the start of the program, and has been an active supporter of D.A.R.E.
“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is the National Crackdown on Impaired Driving. The mobilization period begins on August 15th and will run through Labor Day. Other events include a kick-off celebration at the Circleville Walmart located on US 23. The event is scheduled for August 15th from 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon. Law enforcement will be a part of the event, and visitors can try using the impaired driving goggles, receive information, and talk with local law enforcement about safety behind the wheel.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration holds a variety of mobilization periods throughout the year to promote safe driving messages with the intent to save lives. You can review their mission and find information on traffic safety at www.nhtsa.gov .
“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Begins in Pickaway County with event at Circleville Walmart
A National Campaign to bring awareness of the detriments of impaired driving begins August 15th, and an event at the Circleville Walmart kicks off the campaign in Pickaway County. Safe Communities of Pickaway County, the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, the Pickaway Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, and the Circleville Police Department are joining forces with Walmart to make the public aware that if you don’t “Drive Sober”, you will “Get Pulled Over”. The event scheduled from 10:00 a.m.-12 noon on August 15, 2014, will provide an official ribbon cutting, law enforcement vehicles, impaired driving goggles, and information on the dangers of driving impaired.
“We are extremely pleased that Walmart has offered to assist us with this very important message regarding the concerns for impaired driving within our community”, stated Sheriff Robert Radcliff today. “It is our intent to work with other law enforcement members, and businesses within our community, to promote driving sober throughout the national enforcement period and the Labor Day holiday. It is our hope that the message will remain with drivers throughout the year.”
With the pending Labor Day Holiday fast approaching, law enforcement officials will be out in force to help keep motorists and their passengers safe during this very busy holiday. Locally, law enforcement will join this effort. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that one in three traffic fatalities in the United States is alcohol related. Through a grant from NHTSA and the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies will provide extra patrols with a focus of removing impaired drivers from the roadway. The kick-off event with Walmart will give law enforcement the chance to meet the public, provide information, and encourage drivers to plan ahead before attending any event or party where alcohol is provided. “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk”, and having a designated driver can make all the difference in the safety of those you care about most.
For more information on the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Enforcement Period, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website at www.nhtsa.gov .
A quarterly review with a committee of the Safe Communities of Pickaway County program was held this week to discuss the one traffic fatality that occurred in the second quarter of the calendar year 2014. The fatality which occurred on US 23, sparked the ongoing discussion of safety along the stretch of highway that includes Pittsburgh Road, and the area around local businesses near Sperry Drive. Due to the increase in the speed limit along that stretch of highway, local law enforcement has voiced an ongoing concern for crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Ohio law allowed the change in speed limit, however the number of crashes and fatalities over the last several months has brought the discussion of safety to the forefront of the committee’s list of concerns.
“We have a good working relationship with the Ohio Department of Transportation, and a representative from the District 6 Office is a part of our committee”, stated Teresa C. Carper, Safe Communities Director. “Due to the Circleville portion of US 23 being a part of a rural area, the law states that this area is to have a speed limit of 65 mph. However, due to law enforcement concerns, surveys, enforcement, and other suggestions have been discussed to improve safety.”
Past discussions of the committee has included seat belt use. A majority of the fatalities over the past few years had involved a driver or a passenger that was not wearing a seat belt. Pickaway County has had one of the worst seat belt use rates in Ohio, and it is believed that many of the fatal crashes may have had a different outcome if the driver or passenger had simply buckled up.
Finally, and especially during the summer months, the concern for bicycle and pedestrian safety should be a priority according to the Fatal Review Committee members. The message that everyone needs to SHARE THE ROAD, will help prevent a tragedy. Pedestrians especially should remember that motor vehicles need to have time to stop if and when they see someone or something in their path. Depending on the rate of speed, it can take several feet for a motor vehicle to stop. Never guess what your safety is when crossing a busy roadway.
The next major mobilization will be the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. Pickaway County will kick off the safety enforcement period on August 13, 2014 with the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Law Enforcement Awards. Other activities will be planned, and local businesses will be asked to help the community stay safe by promoting the message.
Safe Communities of Pickaway County is a grant funded program through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ohio Traffic Safety Office. The program continues to promote safety messages and provides education to improve overall safety on local roadways, and decrease the number of lives lost through motor vehicle crashes. Information on traffic safety can be found at www.nhtsa.gov
No Traffic Fatalities for the Month of June!
Good news for Traffic Safety Advocates, and good news for those who travel in Pickaway County. In a review of statistics for traffic crashes for the past month, Pickaway County had a fatal-free June. With the summer season underway, and the many special events in and around Pickaway County, Safe Communities of Pickaway County congratulates the community on making safety a priority on our roadways.
“Although there were no fatalities for the month of June, we at Safe Communities continue to recommend that motorists ‘Buckle Up Every Trip Every Time’, and make sure safe speed limits are observed while traveling throughout the summer”, noted Teresa C. Carper, Director for the Program. “As the summer season continues, Safe Communities will continue to promote safe driving habits and remind drivers that they need to ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ each time they plan for a special event or party.”
The National Mobilization on Impaired Driving will be held in August, and law enforcement will have extra patrols out through Labor Day.
Many drivers may notice that with the great weather, there are plenty of motorcyclists on our roadways. A recent study released to Safe Communities of Pickaway County showed that motorcycle safety awareness needs to be a priority in reducing injuries and fatalities. Motorcyclists need to make sure they are following all safety precautions, and other motorists need to “Watch Out for Motorcycles” while sharing the road.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a website with information regarding all types of safety tips for motorists at www.nhtsa.gov . Safe Communities recommends we all work to keep up the good work and the good news, and make this a safe and fatal-free summer.
A Holiday filled with fireworks, picnics, festivals, and special events is upon us, and Safe Communities of Pickaway County encourages everyone to plan ahead for safety this Fourth of July. The National Campaign of “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” will be observed here in our community with increased patrols on our roadways. Local law enforcement will join other agencies across the state, and nationwide, to make sure this Holiday remains safe. The Fourth of July can be one of the deadliest times of the year due to the number of persons who choose to drive impaired. The solution…..designate a sober driver long before the fun begins.
“Pickaway County has had its share of impaired driving crashes and fatalities over the past several years. Thanks to local law enforcement, many of the Holiday weekends have remained fairly safe”, noted Teresa C. Carper, Director for the Safe Communities of Pickaway County program. “However, with the increase in special events here and nearby, there will be more vehicles on the roadways. Please think of your safety and the safety of others before you get behind the wheel impaired.”
The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is promoted nationwide by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Through their website at www.nhtsa.gov , you can view the risks of driving impaired, and suggestions for improving your safety when traveling in a motor vehicle. Safe Communities has been a part of local events this Spring and Summer to promote a variety of safety messages such as “Click It or Ticket” and “Ride S.M.A.R.T.” . Seat belt use is extremely important, and Safe Communities recommends you “Buckle Up Every Trip Every Time”. Furthermore, the summer months increases travel by motorcycles. Traffic Safety Advocates remind all drivers to “Share the Road” and “Watch Out for Motorcycles” during the summer and all year long.
This Fourth of July remember that “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk”, and report any driver that appears impaired to local law enforcement immediately.
A review of statistics for traffic crashes for the month of May shows that once again Pickaway County has added another fatality to the overall total for the year. Unfortunately, the number of fatalities are increasing in Pickaway County. Safe Communities of Pickaway County continues to promote traffic safety, and use educational tools to make drivers, passengers, and pedestrians aware that safety needs to be a priority every day. A recent survey taken in the community just prior to the recent “Click It or Ticket” National Seat Belt Campaign, proved that the lack of seat belt use remains an issue in Pickaway County. Although there are many reasons as to why a fatality may occur on our roadways, the lack of seat belt use has proven deadly over the past several years.
“Pickaway County will undergo surveys this month to see what our seat belt use rate is overall”, noted Director for Safe Communities of Pickaway County Teresa C. Carper. “I encourage driver to buckle up this month, and continue to ‘Buckle Up Every Trip Every Time’ in order to improve our injury and fatality rate in this community. Pickaway County has continued to have one of the lowest seat belt use rates in the State.”
As the summer months continue, drivers also need to be aware that distractions are not unusual. However, when you add cell phone use and texting to the normal distractions that all drivers experience, the likelihood of a crash increases. With children out of school, pedestrians and bicyclists added to our streets, and the increase in motorcycles on our roadways, added distractions can prove deadly. No one every plans to injure another person when they answer their phone or send a text. But statistically, cell phone use and texting have added to the overall crash, injury, and fatality rate nationwide. Many of those injured or killed have been innocent victims. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asks you to “Stay Alive Don’t Text and Drive”. Learn more about the hazards of distracted driving, and the importance of seat belt use at their website, www.nhtsa.gov .
Motorcycle Safety Awareness should be a priority every day…….if you are a rider, or if you are a driver sharing the road. National “Ride to Work Day” is a reminder that safety for motorcycles should be a priority all year long, and riders are encouraged to share this view and ride their motorcycle to work on June 16th to show their support. As a rider, certain safety measures should become a habit each and every time you take to the road. For other drivers, making sure you give motorcycles the same rights as other motor vehicles will go a long way to reducing crashes and deaths on our roadways.
Distracted Driving has become a major awareness theme for traffic safety advocates. This concern increases during the warmer months of the year when motorcycles become more prevalent on the road. Making sure you see all that you need to see when you are behind the wheel, and that includes motorcycles, can save a life. Furthermore, it is important to remember that motorcyclists need a full lane length. Although motorcycles are smaller vehicles, they need room to maneuver safely.
As a rider, make sure you “Ride S.M.A.R.T.” . Always ride Sober, Motorcycle endorsed, Alert, with the Right gear, and Trained. Riders need to make sure they follow all the same traffic laws as all other road users, wear an approved DOT helmet, and limit distractions. Motorcycle riding can be, and is, a great way to travel if safety measures are observed. In 2012, 4957 persons were killed in motorcycle crashes nationwide. In Pickaway County, the number of injuries and deaths over the past several years has made this type of traffic safety initiative a priority of the Safe Communities of Pickaway County program, and law enforcement alike. Making sure riders and other road users respect each other, the laws, and the road, can reduce crashes and traffic related deaths significantly.
So “Ride to Work” this June 16th, and show your support for safety on our roadways. As for other road users…… “Watch Out for Motorcycles” on June 16th and every day you travel.
For more information on motorcycle safety, and other traffic safety initiatives, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website at www.nhtsa.gov .
A Committee formed within the Safe Communities of Pickaway County program reviewed the fatalities for the months of January through March 2014. The Committee looked at three fatalities that occurred during this period in order to make recommendations to improve safety on Pickaway County roadways.
The Committee noted that although the lack of seat belt use did not play the significant role that it has played in past reviews, it did play a role in one of the fatalities reviewed. Impaired driving was also a concern in another crash, and has remained a matter of discussion in previous reviews. US 23, and the intersections near Circleville, have had a significant number of crashes and fatalities over the past several years. The Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to work with other Sheriffs’ Offices along the highway in an effort to reduce crashes and fatalities. “Project S.T.A.R.” is a coordinated program involving 7 Sheriff Offices along US 23 to increase enforcement. The group plans to work together within the program throughout the summer months.
The Committee also discussed the recent “Click It or Ticket” mobilization, and was provided information that indicates that seat belt use in Pickaway County is not improving. Seat belt use is the number one way to improve a person’s chances of surviving a crash. Pickaway County has continued to struggle in this effort, and the number of fatalities that involved a driver or passenger without a seatbelt is the reason for the continued concern. The Safe Communities Program will continue to promote seatbelt use, while enforcement of seat belt laws will be a priority of many law enforcement officials.
The Committee will continue to monitor the reasons for crashes, and make recommendations for the improvement of safety throughout Pickaway County.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides a variety of suggestions and information to help reduce crashes and save lives. For more information on traffic safety, visit their website at www.nhtsa.gov .
An award started several years ago has a continued tradition in Pickaway County. The “Saved By the Belt Award” is an award that goes to an individual who made the choice to simply buckle up, and was the reason for their survival in a motor vehicle crash. These awards have been a part of the “Click It or Ticket” enforcement period for the last several years in Pickaway County, and this year is no exception. Teays Valley High School senior Cody Redman received the award during the school’s annual awards ceremony. Redman was involved in a motor vehicle crash on March 30, 2014, where his vehicle was totaled after rolling several times. Mr. Redman escaped injury due in part to his actions of simply wearing a seat belt. The purpose of the award is to present living proof that seat belts do save lives.
Redman and fellow senior Justin Donaldson also received the “Award of Merit” from Sheriff Robert Radcliff for their service to the traffic safety industry by creating a video asking students to not drive distracted. The video won the AAA Ohio Outstanding Public Service Announcement award this past March. Redman was also instrumental in the kick off for Motorcycle Awareness Month in Pickaway County. Finally, Sheriff Robert Radcliff also honored Tina Bobek. Bobek, the nurse at Teays Valley High School as well as a Safe Communities Coalition member and Teen Institute Advisor, has been a driving force for the promotion of teen traffic safety.
“It is always an honor and a privilege to work with students in the promotion of traffic safety”, stated Safe Communities Director Teresa C. Carper. “Students promoting the safety message to their peers is the best was to get the message out, and hopefully save lives.”
Traffic related deaths are the number one killer of teens in the United States. The lack of seat belt use has also played a role in a large number of highway deaths, especially here in Pickaway County. Through the promotion of “Click It or Ticket”, and recognizing those who have been “Saved By the Belt”, Safe Communities of Pickaway County asks that other take four seconds and improve their chance of survival in a crash by 50%.
With the Memorial Day Holiday upon us, and the summer season just ahead, it is important to remember to “Buckle Up Every Trip Every Time”. For more information on seat belt statistics and other traffic safety related issues, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at www.nhtsa.gov .