Safety Santa spreads holiday message

Published 9:34 am Friday, December 2, 2011


BURLINGTON — Santa Claus handed out little red and white candy canes and the occasional fist bump to the little ones Thursday morning while on a visit to the Walmart Supercenter in Burlington.

The youngsters seemed to think this was great but it was the adults’ attention Santa was really aiming for. Santa was spreading the word about traffic safety.

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Ohio Department of Transportation District 9 officials organized the Santa visit to remind motorists that this time of year, accidents increase often as much as 20 percent, and much of the increase is seen in and around intersections and shopping center parking lots.

“We want to get people’s attention,” Fuller said as she and fellow “elf” Beth Immel handed out brochures on safe driving.

And she hopes the message drivers get now stays with them all year long.

There were more than 300,000 car crashes in Ohio last year, according to state statistics. Those accidents caused 1,080 deaths and more than 10,000 serious injuries.

“We see a lot of distracted driving, texting and talking on cell phones,” Fuller said. “You see that not just this time of year but all the time.”

For more information on safe driving, those interested may