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News Release:

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Parents Need to Talk to Teens About the “5 to Drive”

National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 19-25, 2014

The “5 to Drive” is five important rules that teens need to follow to stay safe behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Parents need to be involved in the process, and not be afraid to talk to teen drivers about these five simple rules. Making sure parents set boundaries and expectations from the onset of a teen driving a motor vehicle can mean the difference between life and death. Although this may sound dramatic, the truth is that motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer or persons between the ages of 14 and 18 years. Just five simple rules may make all the difference in the safety of a teen driver. These “5 to Drive” rules are:

*No Drinking and Driving

*Buckle Up Every Trip Every Time-Front Seat and Back

*Put It Down! One Text or Call Could Wreck It All!

*Stop Speeding Before it Stops You

*One passenger at a Time.

Although alcohol is illegal for those under the age of 21, it still play a part in about 28% of motor vehicle crash deaths for this age group. Everyone should realize that buckling up is the easiest way to improve their safety, and distracted driving is becoming a hazard to all those who participates in this activity while behind the wheel . Speed played a role is almost half of the motor vehicle crash fatalities for young drivers in 2012, and having more than one passenger in your vehicle increases your chances of a crash with each person you add to the vehicle.

There are laws in the state of Ohio regarding the number of passengers a teen may have when driving a motor vehicle, as well as laws that prohibit cell phone use by teens while driving.

Parents can join other parents during National Teen Driver Safety Week and make the discussion of “5 to Drive” a priority. Parents can find more information on this program, and how to help their teen become a safer driver at . The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends the Teen Driver Safety be a priority of parents, traffic safety organizations, and other groups that advocate safety for teens.

By | October 21st, 2014|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office Continues High Visibility Enforcement

A grant that was written earlier this year has been approved for the cost of overtime for extra patrols on local roadways, with the goal of making Pickaway County fatal-free. Over the past three years, the average number of motor vehicle crash fatalities has increased slightly. The Sheriff’s Office hopes that the county can improve this number by continuing to add extra law enforcement patrols to major highways and roadways throughout Pickaway County. By increasing law enforcement’s presence, it is believed that there will be less impaired driving incidents, speed limits will be observed, and seat belt use will increase. All of which are major factors in motor vehicle crashes and deaths. The Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office has received a High Visibility Enforcement Overtime grant (HVEO) over the past several years, and has seen many successes as a result of the program. This year, the grant has been divided to specifically attack those areas of traffic enforcement that need to be addressed such as an Impaired Driving Enforcement Program (IDEP) and a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP). The total amount of monies to be received is $30,621.25.

The grant is provided by the Ohio Department of Public Safety with funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Sheriff’s Office will use the funds to add extra patrols to local highways during holidays, specific high traffic events, and national campaigns such as “Click It or Ticket” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”.

“The funds from these grants are extremely important to our goal of making our highways and roadways safer through enforcement”, noted Sheriff Robert Radcliff. “Without these funds, we would have to be much more creative in our efforts, and we may not be able to have the number of patrols that we feel are needed to assist in the overall safety of our citizens and visitors that travel in and through our community.”

The Sheriff’s Office will work diligently through the month of October with the pending Circleville Pumpkin Show and the Halloween Enforcement period to keep local roadways safe. The Sheriff’s Office is the holder of the Safe Communities of Pickaway County program that works to promote and provide education of traffic safety. Through enforcement and education, the Sheriff’s Office hopes to reach the goal of zero motor vehicle fatalities in Pickaway County.

By | October 13th, 2014|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Football, Homecoming, and Safe Driving Are a Winning Combination

A winning idea for this football and homecoming season is to combine these two favorite activities with safe driving. Whether it is the local high school games, your favorite college team games, or the professional team games, this sport seems to bring out the fans in droves. Many will watch and celebrate by attending the game, watching at home, visiting a local hot spot, or attending a great party. Whatever your plans may be, and if those plans include alcohol, make sure you remember that if you don’t “Drive Sober”, you will get “Pulled Over”.

Teens should also remember that as they plan for Homecoming dances or other activities surrounding this time of year, they need to make safety to and from the event as important as all the other plans for the event. Please remember that it is illegal to drive and use any type of electronic device in the state of Ohio. But more importantly, the message to “Stay Alive, Don’t Text and Drive” should be a habit used every day. Also, by “Buckling Up Every Trip Every Time”, you can improve your chances of surviving a crash by 50%.

Parents need to be involved in their teen’s driving habits. Talk to your teen, set rules for the use of a motor vehicle, and remind them that their safety is a priority to you, and needs to be a priority to them. Find ways to talk about traffic safety to your teen at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website at .

By | October 13th, 2014|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Traffic Safety Program Renewed for 2015 Fiscal Year

A traffic safety program has been renewed for a fifth fiscal year. The Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office announced today that a grant written in April has been approved, and the funds will go to the continued efforts of the program to work toward the goal of a fatal-free year on our local highways.

“I am pleased to announce the renewal of our Safe Communities of Pickaway County program for 2014-2015”, stated Sheriff Robert Radcliff today. “The Safe Communities program has continued to work toward the goal of keeping our citizens and visitors safe as they travel in our community through awareness and education on traffic safety issues.”

This program is funded by a grant provided by the Ohio Department of Public Safety with funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The grant of $42,000 is a slight increase from the past fiscal year due to the increase in the average of fatalities over the past three years. The program was designed to promote specific traffic messages, and to focus on problems identified through a variety of data sources. The program is mandated to follow the criteria provided by NHTSA, and to use countermeasures that will work to combat specific issues that are identified as contributing factors for motor vehicle crashes and deaths in Pickaway County. The issues identified for 2015 are specifically seat belt use, younger driver safety, and motorcycle safety awareness. Other issues of concern for traffic safety advocates include speed, impaired driving, and distracted driving. The program has a variety of community partners, and a Coalition to assist in the overall review of the program.

Safe Communities of Pickaway County continues to look for new Coalition members, new agencies and businesses to partner with, and extends their services to organizations that want to learn more about traffic safety, or work with them to promote traffic safety awareness. For more information contact Director Teresa C. Carper at tcarper .

By | October 13th, 2014|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Drive Safely to Work Week is October 6-10, 2014

Driving Your Safety Culture Home!

Any business in our community will have a list of safety rules and regulations that they expect their employees to follow while on the job. Some companies or business may be more stringent of their policies than others. But every business knows the liabilities surrounding the issue of safety, and realize that their employees are their best asset to their business. If attendance of employees is low due to injuries sustained on the job, the cost to that business can be enormous. Also, many places of business simply value those people as a type of “family”, considering the number of hours they are with each other each week. For these reasons, safety is an issue that should be a priority of every business.

But did you know that driving is likely the riskiest activity an employee will do all day? Consider the statistics: Every 12 minutes a person will die in a motor vehicle crash ; Every 10 seconds a person will be injured in a motor vehicle crash; Every 5 seconds, a motor vehicle crash will occur. This is why the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety is asking all businesses to recognize “Drive Safely to Work Week” October 6-10, 2014.

Adding traffic safety to your list of items to discuss with your employees is a great start to this effort. If part of your employees’ job description is to drive a motor vehicle for their job, insist they “Buckle Up Every Trip Every Time”, and prohibit them from texting and driving while on the clock. But more importantly, establish a culture of safety by encouraging your employees to follow these simple rules of safety every time they are behind the wheel. Some companies consider driving records when hiring and retaining employees. But making sure your employees know the risks, your concerns, and your expectations, will go a long way to making safety a habit your employees can embrace.

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety has more information on what employers can do to encourage traffic safety to their employees at . The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also has plenty of information on the various areas of traffic safety at . Safety is a great way to do business before, during, and after the work day…every day!

By | October 8th, 2014|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Fatal Review Committee Wraps Fiscal Year with Discussion on Traffic Fatality Rates

As the federal fiscal year comes to a close for the Safe Communities of Pickaway County program, the Fatal Review Committee went over one fatality for the final quarter of the year. The Committee discussed what areas of the county are the most dangerous for crashes and fatalities, and made recommendations for what members can do to limit the number of deaths on area roadways.

Fatalities for the calendar year 2014 are actually down from last year. According to statistics, deaths on local roadways are down by 6 county-wide. In the state of Ohio, fatalities are down by 80 from last year. Although this completes the fiscal year on an optimistic note, Safe Communities Director Teresa C. Carper warns that this is not a reason to not take safety seriously. “September in Ohio brings a cause for concern for those of us that promotes traffic safety”, she explained to the members of the committee. “Although there are no concrete reasons, September has historically been a month that fatalities rise across the state. It tells us to make sure we follow traffic safety recommendations every time we get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.”

The Committee also discussed plans to add new members, and proactively make recommendations for changes that would possibly reduce the number of crashes and deaths on roadways in Pickaway County. The Committee noted that some safety measures could be taken to reduce the severity of crashes, and that US 23 needs to be an area of priority for enforcement.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides funds that support the local Safe Communities program, and the High Visibility Enforcement Overtime grant held by the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office. NHTSA has a website with safety information for organizations and individuals at .

By | September 24th, 2014|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Change Is Not Always A Good Thing!

A Change of Seasons Can Increase Chances of Crashes and Fatalities

Beware of September! This phrase notes that statistically, this time of year increases the number of crashes and fatalities in Ohio. Even in Pickaway County, September has been a month in the past where crashes and fatalities have increased. There can be many reasons for this trend: the change of season decreases the hours of light and visibility, the increase in deer related crashes, changes in weather, and school related travel and traffic. In a few short weeks, we will end daylight savings time. Changing our routines, and ourselves to adjust to this time change, often creates issues when it comes to being alert behind the wheel. In Pickaway County, we are coming into a time of year where we will see an increase in traffic due to the pending Circleville Pumpkin Show. All of these examples give good reason why safe driving practices should become a priority each and every time we travel in a motor vehicle.

Signed into law this past year, and a law that can be found in the Ohio Revised Code, is the designation that September is “Safe Driving Awareness Month”. The designation is in honor of Maria Tiberi and others who have lost their lives in motor vehicle related incidents. Safe Communities of Pickaway County asks that all Pickaway County drivers remember these individuals, and drive safe every month of the year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a website with information on traffic safety issues, suggestions for parents and teens, and other traffic safety related items. Visit their website at to review this information, and make a pledge to make a “good” change and develop safe driving habits every time you drive.

By | September 22nd, 2014|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Safe Communities Wraps Up Fiscal Year with Progress Report

The Safe Communities of Pickaway County Coalition met this week to discuss the end to the fiscal year for the program, and preview plans to continue traffic safety in Pickaway County. Members were presented a report with an outline of the goals met and areas where improvement in traffic safety is needed. According to statistics provided in April 2013, this year the organization was to focus on seat belt safety, impaired driving issues, motorcycle safety awareness, and work to create partnerships throughout the community to promote public awareness of motor vehicle safety. The program reviews fatalities on local highways and roadways quarterly, and makes recommendations on how to prevent future crashes, injuries, and fatalities. These reviews, along with data provided by a variety of sources, helps to determine what each program is to focus on in regards to programming. In Pickaway County, younger drivers, impaired driving, and motorcycle safety were all a priority of the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

A major goal over the past five years did improve last year. The program was to meet the goal of 73% use rate for seat belts, and a survey conducted by Miami University last year shows that the county actually improved to 84.3%. These numbers reflect the use rate as of June 2013. In recent surveys and statistical data, there is a concern that this use rate may decrease next fiscal year. Seat belt use and the promotion of this safety message will remain a focus for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. The teen program has remained a priority throughout the tenure of the program, and with the issue of distracted driving being a national topic of concern, younger driver safety will continue to be a focus for the future.

Teresa C. Carper, Director for the local program noted how grateful she is to the partners within the Pickaway County community. “It should be noted how fortunate this program is to have our law enforcement, local schools, media, businesses like Walmart and Fletcher’s Towing, and community members who help us make this program work”, she noted today. “In speaking with many agencies across the state, some programs struggle to get community members and leaders involved in the process. In Pickaway County, this has never been an issue, and we are grateful for the support.”

Although the Coalition was made aware of the future plans for the program, as well as future funding, an official announcement will come after October 1, 2014 when the new federal fiscal year begins for these grants in Ohio. The Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office has held the program for over four years, and has applied for a grant for 2014-2015. Safe Community programs nationwide were created to promote public awareness and education to communities that have a significant number of fatalities as a result of motor vehicle crashes. Funding for the programs comes from the National Highway Safety Administration with the goal of becoming self-sufficient. In Ohio, funding comes to individual communities as a result of a grant held by the Ohio Department of Public Safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration holds information on a variety of programs, and information can be found on their website at .

By | September 19th, 2014|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over a Success with No Fatalities in August

A recent crackdown on Impaired Driving may have been a contributing factor to no fatalities in the month of August. With extra patrols on our roadways, and public awareness providing a reminder that “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk”, the National Campaign against impaired driving could be major factor in Pickaway County being able to have another month where no one died on our local roadways. Considering that Labor Day is known nationally as a dangerous time for impaired driving crashes and deaths, traffic safety advocates are pleased that Pickaway County did not follow that national trend.

“Any time we have a holiday or major event where alcohol is often a part of the celebrations, we are concerned that drivers may not understand how impaired they are, and take the risk of driving while intoxicated”, stated Teresa C. Carper, Director for the Safe Communities of Pickaway County program. “Having no fatalities in the month of August, and throughout the Labor Day Holiday, tends to make us believe that drivers followed the cautionary message and that extra patrols helped to keep our citizens and visitors safe while traveling through our county.”

Although the national crackdown known as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” was completed as of September 1, Safe Communities of Pickaway County asks that drivers continue to remember the message throughout the year. By designating a sober driver before any event, party, or evening out, can and does save lives. For more information on traffic safety tips, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website at .

By | September 19th, 2014|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Kids Need To Be Protected While Riding In A Motor Vehicle

A National Campaign to remind all drivers that motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of children began on September 14, 2014. Although the campaign only runs through September 20th, the message is one that is relevant for the entire year. During a five year period from 2008 to 2012, more than 3,390 children were killed in motor vehicle crashes and an estimated 613,000 children were injured nationally. According to the US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and their crash data, nearly 2 children were killed and 332 were injured every day while riding in a motor vehicle in 2012. Of those crashes, over 1/3 or 37% were not in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt. Since on average a child will be involved in a motor vehicle crash every 34 seconds, why take the risk of not putting your child in the proper safety equipment? The reminder that we should all “Buckle Up Every Trip Every Time” should apply to all drivers and passengers within a motor vehicle, especially those who rely on others for safety.

The National Child Passenger Safety Week promotes the message that like seat belts, car seats do save lives. But using them correctly is a major contributor in keeping your child safe. In 2012, among children under the age of 5 riding in a motor vehicle, an estimate of 284 lives were saved by child restraints. An additional 58 children could have been saved if car seat use was 100%. That is 58 families who would not need to endure the pain of losing a child. There are laws in all 50 states that protect children by mandating the use of child restraints such as a car seat, booster seat, and seat belts.

All drivers who carry younger passengers can give them a 71% chance of survival if involved in a crash by simply having them in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt. By following the instructions for proper installation and use, you can give your child the gift of safety every time they ride in a motor vehicle. To learn more about Child Passenger Safety Week, the importance of seat belts, and other safety tips, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website at .

By | September 19th, 2014|Categories: General News|0 Comments