Highway patrol launches annual safety campaign


STAFF REPORT

COLUMBUS — Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Motorists Insurance Group launched the annual “Tie One on for Safety” campaign today with a message to drive safe, sober and buckled up.

This is the 22nd year for the holiday ribbon campaign which encourages motorists to tie the MADD ribbon to their vehicles as a pledge to be safe on the roadways. The campaign also reminds drivers to buckle up, because a seatbelt is the best defense against a drunk driver.

According to ODPS crash statistics, 473 Ohioans were killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2007. Of those crashes, 37 of the fatalities occurred between Thanksgiving and New Years. Of those killed in car crashes in 2007, 482 were not wearing their seatbelts.

“I encourage everyone to do their part to be a visible reminder of the dangers of drunk driving by displaying a red ribbon and by making good decisions about driving safe and sober every day of the year,” said ODPS Director Henry Guzm°n. “Together we can help reduce deaths and injuries so that no family has to experience this preventable tragedy.”

All of ODPS’ divisions are working to remind people to drive safe and sober. The Ohio Investigative Unit, Ohio Traffic Safety Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement are using stepped up enforcement and educational efforts to prevent injuries and deaths. Agents are using alcohol-related crash data to target liquor permit establishments in addition to working with task forces to trace the source of alcohol if impaired drivers are stopped at sobriety checkpoints.

Local law enforcement around the state are planning more than 13,000 hours of enforcement this holiday season including 18 sobriety checkpoints and more than 3,000 hours of saturation patrols.

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