COLUMBUS – The Ohio State Highway Patrol, Columbus Police Department and Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, along with the support of our community partners from MADD, AAA and Columbus Public Health, are collaborating in an effort to reduce fatal crashes in Franklin County’s urban areas this fall.
The purpose of this service initiative is to bring awareness and education to the motoring public about the dangers of speed, driving impaired, driving distracted and the importance of safety belt usage through traffic enforcement.
In the first nine months of 2020, there have been 89 fatal crashes resulting in 94 deaths in Franklin County. Of these fatal crashes, 62% were not wearing an available safety belt. Fatal and injury crashes continue to be concentrated in high-density traffic corridors. To combat the rising number of fatal crashes, all agencies will increase visibility and enforcement in these identified areas to include work zones.
“Franklin County continues to grow rapidly, and road construction is everywhere. That means it’s more important than ever for drivers to stay focused,” said Sheriff Dallas Baldwin. “Critical injuries and deaths happen when you’re speeding, distracted or impaired. Don’t be a statistic. Please drive safely.”
Impaired driving continues to play a significant role in deadly crashes, accounting for nearly one in three of Franklin County’s fatal crashes. Other factors include speed, failure to yield and distracted driving.
“We need motorists to commit to keeping our roads safe by always wearing a safety belt, obeying speed limits and never driving impaired,” said Lieutenant Michael Akers, Commander of the Patrol’s Columbus Metro Post. “Always be attentive and keep your focus on the roadway.”
The top routes for Franklin County fatal crashes include both Interstate 270 and Interstate 71. Fatal crashes occurred most frequently between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 9:59 p.m.
“As fatal crashes rise in Ohio, AAA commends these agencies for taking steps to keep drivers safe through this service initiative,” said Kimberly Schwind, senior manager, public affairs for AAA Ohio Auto Club. “The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index shows that drivers value traveling safely and perceive aggressive and impaired driving as threats to their personal safety. Helping to curb these behaviors will make the roads safer for everyone.”
Roadway safety is a shared responsibility. Everyone can contribute to safer roads by following traffic laws, always wearing a safety belt and never driving distracted.
To view the map of Franklin County fatal crashes, please click on the link below: