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OSHP reports safe Labor Day weekend

Despite an increased flow of traffic over the holiday, the Ohio State Highway Patrol Ironton Post 44 reported a successful, safe weekend.

"For us it was a great weekend," Lt. Carl Roark, post commander, said. "We had seven crashes with no fatalities and only two minor injuries during the four-day reporting period. I have no doubt lives were saved due to the high visibility and enforcement efforts."

The local patrol issued 716

citations. Two hundred and twelve were for failure to wear a safety belt and eight were for driving while intoxicated.

"Our efforts have been as intense or more so than in the past in enforcing safety belts and DUIs," he said. "We are working to educate as much as we can and, hopefully, it contributed to the safe weekend."

The remaining citations consisted of a variety of charges including speeding, failure to yield, child safety seat violations and following too closely.

"We do everything we can to deter driving that causes fatalities," he said. "Given the amount of motorist traffic, I would say it was a success."

All the statistics were comparable to last year, which was also considered a safe weekend, he said.

However, statewide figures were not as positive. There were 22 fatalities on Ohio roads. Alcohol was involved in at least eight and seat belts were not worn in about half of the cases. Twelve of the fatalities were on state and federal highways and five were on county roads.

Medina, Portage and Jefferson counties accounted for seven of the 22 fatalities.

Last year, there were 11 fatalities statewide. It is unclear what caused this increase, but it may be attributed to increased vehicle traffic, Roark said. Michael Caldwell/The Ironton Tribune