Aggressive driving tickets drop in 2008

Published 10:13 am Friday, March 20, 2009

SOUTH POINT — Some lead must have fallen out of the feet of Lawrence County drivers during the past year.

Ticket totals for “aggressive driving” decreased in 2008 for Lawrence County motorists going at least 20 mph over the speed limit, according to figures released by the State Highway Patrol.

Last year troopers wrote 418 tickets countywide for aggressive driving — less than the 550 tickets troopers were averaging between the years of 2005 and 2007.

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The state as a whole saw a decline in aggressive speeding citations with 74,507 citations given compared to an average of 80,000 per year between 2005 and 2007.

“Driving at speeds of 20 mph over the posted speed limit are considered a dangerous form of aggressive driving,” Colonel Richard H. Collins, Patrol superintendent said. “Drivers that engage in this type of perilous behavior are putting their life and other lives at risk.”

Overall, Lawrence County ranked 57 out of Ohio’s 88 counties in the number of aggressive driving tickets issued and seventh out of the 10 counties that comprise District 9.

Besides Lawrence County, District 9 is comprised of Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Meigs, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton counties.

At the county level Hamilton County (Cincinnati) had the most aggressive driving citations in 2008 with 4,797. It was followed by Sandusky County (3,111), Franklin County (2,838), Erie County (2,593) and Lorain County. (2,523).

Sandusky, Erie and Lorain counties have large spans of the Ohio Turnpike crossing through each county which troopers have sole jurisdiction of.

The highway patrol, says excessive speed raises the danger level on roadways.

A car zooming along at 75 mph travels approximately 110 feet per second, leaving little reaction time for a driver and increasing the odds of a serious or fatal crash.

More than one-third of aggressive driving citations were issued on Saturday or Sunday and the hours of 9-11:59 a.m. and 3-5:59 p.m. were the busiest times of day for tickets resulting in 42 percent of totals.

Not surprising, younger drivers comprised a majority of the aggressive driving offenders. Eighteen percent are between the ages of 15-20, 21 percent are between 21-25 and 25 percent are between 26-35 years old.

The patrol said two-thirds of those cited were male.

Totals for all speeding tickets written by troopers for Lawrence County in 2008 are not yet available and will be released soon.