MOUNT GILEAD — The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reporting a nine percent decrease in traffic fatalities last year according to provisional statistics. In 2018, 1,071 people lost their lives on Ohio’s roads as compared to 1,179 in 2017.
Unbelted traffic fatalities declined by 10 percent. In 2018, 419 people died in crashes when safety belts were available but not in use. Troopers issued more than 137,000 seat belt citations to increase awareness and compliance with Ohio’s seat belt laws.
The use of seatbelts saved 51 more lives in Ohio last year as compared to 2017.
Impaired driving fatalities also decreased by seven percent last year; however it was still a factor in 36 percent of all traffic fatalities. Troopers arrested 26,598 impaired drivers in 2018 with most arrests occurring in Franklin, Cuyahoga, Lucas, Lorain and Summit counties.
In total, state troopers made 617,796 enforcement stops, investigated 64,820 traffic crashes and provided assistance to 219,609 motorists.
Troopers from the Mount Gilead Post reported 17 fatalities. Of those fatalities, 9 were OVI-related and 11 occurred when seat belts were available but not in use.
The public is encouraged to call #677 to report impaired drivers, drug activity or stranded motorists.
To view a copy of the entire statistical recap, visit https://www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/CrashActivityRecap_2018.pdf.