Troopers ramp up patrols for busy holiday weekend

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — State troopers are out in force this weekend in Ohio. With the increased traffic during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to buckle up, slow down, never drive impaired and always follow traffic laws.

Trooper Chris Wheeler works out of the Delaware County post where, he says, traffic gets heavier every year. He expects a very busy weekend.

“After the holiday everyone is trying to get home on Saturday and Sunday,” Wheeler said. “We’ve got the Ohio State – Michigan game so we’re going to have that traffic coming down from the state up north and… everyone needs to slow down and take it easy a little bit.”

patrol-2The Ohio Highway Patrol says nine people were killed in seven fatal crashes on Ohio’s roadways during last year’s Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Five of the nine fatalities, 56 percent, were the result of an impaired driver. As a result, troopers will be out in full force this weekend to try to remove impaired drivers from the roadways.

AAA predicts 48.7 million Americans, including more than 2 million Ohioans, will travel at least 50 miles from home this Thanksgiving holiday weekend. That is a 1.9 percent increase (2.1 percent in Ohio) from last year and the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007 nationally (since 2005 in Ohio).

“It’s simple – safety belts save lives and reduce injury in crashes,” Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol Superintendent said. “It is the easiest and most effective action you can take to protect yourself, your family and your friends.”

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