Police hit streets in force for holidays

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Motorists will no doubt be out in larger numbers during the holiday weekend, but area law enforcement officials say they will be, too.

State and local agencies promise an increased presence on roadways and urge those out and about during the Thanksgiving weekend to plan ahead and exercise caution to avoid marring their holiday with a traffic accident.

&#8220We all share the responsibility for making this a safe holiday on Ohio roadways by obeying all traffic laws, driving with courtesy and by drivers insisting that every passenger buckles their safety belt before traveling,” said Ohio State Highway patrol Col. Paul McClellan. &#8220As a member of the motoring public, you can help save lives by reporting unsafe and aggressive drivers to law enforcement. If you see a disabled vehicle or an unsafe driver, please call the patrol for assistance.”

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Capt. Chris Bowman, acting police chief for the City of Ironton, said his department will also have increased patrols during the holiday weekend.

&#8220We just want people to drive safely and drive responsibly,” he said. &#8220If you do drink, have a designated driver to take you to and from parties or wherever you're going and obey traffic laws. We want people to be aware we will be out there.”

Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton agreed.

&#8220We encourage everyone to maintain the speed limit and buckle their seat belts,” he said. &#8220We wish everyone a safe holiday. If they do buckle up their seat belts and stay within speed limits they will arrive at their destination safely.”

During the last Thanksgiving holiday weekend, 14 people were killed in 10 crashes on Ohio roadways. Of those 14 people, only six were wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Increased and specialized enforcement is made possible through federal overtime funding.