Law enforcement pushes safety for holiday travelers

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 29, 2004

Holidays are traditionally peak travel periods, with people taking to the highways to spend time with family and friends.

Local law enforcement are advising motorists to consider safety when they get behind the wheel during the extended holiday weekend.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Carl Roark said his troopers and Lawrence County Sheriff's deputies will work in unison to provide additional law enforcement visibility to areas where accidents are likely to occur. Deputies and troopers will keep watch for drivers with lead feet in particular.

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"The major factor in crashes in Lawrence County is speed," Roark said. "If people were traveling the proper speed, many of those crashes would not have occurred. That's why we're focusing on speed violations."

There were no fatal crashes in Lawrence County during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend last year. Statewide, 10 people were killed in 10 crashes on Ohio roadways. Of those 10 people, only two were wearing safety belts at the time of the crash.

Roark also

advises motorists to allow plenty of time to reach their destination and urges them to wear safety belts and keep watch for the others drivers who may be impaired by alcohol or drugs.

So far this year,

six people have been killed in five crashes in Lawrence County. Roark said alcohol was a factor in one crash. Two of those lives could have been saved in the people had been wearing safety belts.

Several people escaped serious injury Tuesday evening in an accident near the Ashland-Coal Grove bridges. Roark said the accident, involving three cars, occurred at approximately 6:20 p.m. in the westbound lanes of U.S. 52 near milepost 12.

One car was in the left lane of that roadway and had stopped in traffic when a second car traveling behind it tried to swerve into the right lane but ended up hitting the first car in the rear before hitting a guardrail.

A third car traveling behind the other two cars failed to stop in time and rear-ended the first car as well. Two people were taken by family members to area hospitals.