Increased traffic means increased patrols this holiday week - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Increased traffic means increased patrols this holiday week

An OSHP traffic stop An OSHP traffic stop
(Toledo News Now) -

The Ohio State Highway Patrol and local agencies are gearing up to keep people safe on the roads this Thanksgiving.

OSHP has kicked off a new campaign called Lights for Lives here in northwest Ohio. It is a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional, cooperative enforcement campaign, focused on officers activating their overhead lights and stopping as many vehicles as possible to save as many lives as possible.

Lights for Lives started Tuesday at 6 a.m. and will run until Thanksgiving day at 6 a.m. Officers are focusing on seatbelt use, distracted drivers and impaired drivers.

"Our efforts on impaired driving is going to be stepped up a little bit," said Lt. William Bowers, of OSHP. "We're going to have extra units out, especially leading into the weekend."

Lt. Bowers says Thanksgiving weekend is a little more hectic this year because now only will there be holiday travelers, but the Ohio State versus University of Michigan game is happening, as well.

According to AAA, 43.4 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this holiday weekend. The OSHP is urging drivers to plan ahead for increased driving time.

Wood County, specifically, will have more sets of eyes on the roads on Thanksgiving. A traffic safety grant from the state is helping add at least two deputies to patrol as part of the county's own traffic blitz.

"I feel like it helps other drivers that might not be apt to mind the rules, to obey the speed limits," said Darlene McGee, who is driving to Mississippi for the holiday.

The sheriff's office is focusing enforcement on U.S. 6, near Bowling Green. There have been several serious crashes in that area, including one in May of last year, when a driver died at Sand Ridge Road.

"We actually have a map in the office where we look at where those crashes have taken place, and we really work hard to be visible in those areas and try to avoid future crashes," said Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn.

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