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Ohio Highway Patrol Stepping Up Enforcement Of Distracted Driving Over Holidays

Ohio State Highway Patrol car
Raymond Wambsgans

At least 51 people have already died this year due to distracted driving. That's why the Ohio Highway Patrol will be stepping up enforcement efforts on the state’s roads this holiday season.

Gov. Mike DeWine says over the last five years, there have been 1,171 crashes involving distracted drivers just between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

"Distracted driving involving smartphones is, without a doubt, a major contributing factor to this increase in traffic fatalities, which is why I've asked the Ohio State Highway Patrol to increase enforcement of distracted driving violations over the holidays," DeWine says.

Last year saw 13,713 crashes in Ohio that involved a driver being distracted by their phones or other devices.

"Those numbers are not just statistics, they represent lives—parents, spouses, siblings and friends," says Colonel Richard S. Fambro, Ohio State Highway Patrol superintendent.

In total, 1,119 people have been killed in traffic crashes in Ohio this year to date. That's up from 2018, when 1,068 people lost their lives in traffic accidents.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.