MOUNT VERNON — So far this year, Knox County has had 10 traffic deaths from nine crashes. Only one fatally-injured individual was wearing their seat belt. This number of traffic fatalities is an increase compared to the six fatalities in 2017, and eight fatalities in 2016.
“Saturdays typically around late afternoon/early evening have proven to be the most dangerous day and time of the week in Knox County,” stated Lt. Grewal, Ohio State Highway Patrol Mount Gilead Post Commander.
The Safe Communities Coalition, a group focused on traffic safety, has grown more concerned due to the increased number of individuals killed in traffic crashes.
“We have seen more impaired drivers, mature drivers over the age of 55 and people not wearing seat belts or helmets,” stated Alayna Anderson, the coalition’s coordinator from the Knox County Health Department.
The coalition is comprised of several agencies throughout Knox County, including fire departments, police departments, OSU Extension and ODOT.
“Each agency brings different perspectives to the table. As a coalition, Safe Communities works together to review each of the fatal traffic crashes and determine if there are any changes or improvements which could result in a safer roadway for all motorists,” said Anderson.
An overwhelming majority of individuals killed in 2018 traffic crashes were not wearing their seat belt.
“This is a sign that seat belt enforcement needs to be a top priority,” stated Capt. Jay Sheffer, Knox County Sheriff’s Office.
Also of concern to the coalition are the number of crashes taking place in the Howard Township area. Of the nine fatal traffic crashes, four took place there. Due to this situation, the coalition has worked to assess the area and determine if there are needs of the roadways that are not being met. They have additionally considered increased enforcement in Howard Township to remind motorists to drive the speed limit, wear their seat belt and always drive sober.
For more information, to get involved with the Safe Communities Coalition, or to schedule a traffic safety activity or presentation, contact Anderson at the health department by calling 740-392-2200 ext. 2232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.