BOWLING GREEN, OH (WTOL) - The Ohio State Highway Patrol is always pushing seatbelt safety, but even more so ahead of the holidays.
More drivers will be on the road and inclement weather is a risk, so it's important than ever to practice safe driving habits during holiday travel.
"Over the last few years, we've had some very tragic crashes occur within northwest Ohio involving people not wearing their seatbelts and being impaired. It's important for people to know that seatbelts save live,s and law enforcement within northwest Ohio will be proactive in removing impaired drivers during this holiday season," said Lieutenant Angel Burgos, of the Bowling Green post.
According to Lt. Burgos, year-to-date troopers have cited more than 122,000 drivers for not wearing their seatbelts.
Within the last three years, all three deadly crashes investigated in the state of Ohio involved drivers who were not wearing their seatbelts.
"It's a fact. Seatbelts save lives," Lt. Burgos said. "My favorite thing is to hear people's excuses why they don't wear seatbelts. My response is, 'They save lives.' I've seen it over my 19 year career," he said.
Lt. Burgos said it's young adults, especially those ages 16 to 25, that fall victim to this issue the most. He has this is because they feel like a tragic accident wouldn't happen to them.
"Our main job is to make sure that the motoring public gets home safe. When we make a traffic stop, it's not just a trooper writing a ticket. It's assisting motorists. We interact with stranded cars alongside the road and help them out, whether it's changing their tire, pushing their car off the road or getting them to the nearest exit so they can get some additional assistance," Lt. Burgos said.
The safety campaign runs now through the holidays.