The Press Newspaper
Lake Township police will continue a special traffic enforcement blitz through Jan. 3, according to chief Mark Hummer, who said the enhanced effort is aimed at speeders, drunk drivers, and motorists who fail to yield the right-of-way.
The township in October received a grant of $32,000 through the Ohio Traffic Safety Office to fund overtime pay for office for extra patrols.
The department is concentrating on stretches of state routes 51, 163, and 795 and U.S. 20, the chief said.
From Dec. 1 to Dec. 29, officers stopped 120 vehicles and issued citations to about 70, according to figures compiled by the department.
In November, the department used grant monies to fund 58 hours of special enforcement and stopped 170 vehicles, resulting in the issuance in 75 tickets.
During an 11-hour enforcement blitz over the Halloween weekend, officers stopped 36 vehicles and issued 10 citations.
Chief Hummer said the program appears to be having an impact on motorists.
“Our crashes are down,” he said. “Usually they’re up during the winter. We’re going to continue the holiday blitz through Monday. We want to make the motoring public safe.”
The chief said there is enough grant funding remaining for special enforcement efforts in early 2010.
According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Lake Township in 2008 recorded one fatal and 92 injury crashes.
In all, there were 285 total crashes, one death, and 151 injuries that year in the township.
By contrast, neighboring Troy Township recorded two fatal crashes and 32 injury crashes, resulting in two deaths, 46 injuries, and 119 total crashes.
According to the department, it is a secondary traffic offense, which means vehicles cannot be stopped solely for a violation of the statute. A citation is considered a minor misdemeanor and fines will vary by court district.
The provision was included in the state’s transportation budget, which passed in March 2009. The new provision became effective July 1, 2009 with a six-month phase-in. Law enforcement officials have been issuing warnings only since July 1. Full enforcement with citations began Jan. 1.