CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – More than 36 million people will take to the highways this Memorial Day weekend, and police will be out in full force.
While Memorial Day policing efforts will be beefed up across the nation, statistics show Ohio officers will be busier than most, and Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Brian Holt said they are not troubled at all by their reputation for writing the most traffic tickets in the nation.
“When we issue citations, the intent behind it is to change behavior, to hopefully save lives, and prevent injuries and property damage,” Holt said.
According to eSurance, a division of Allstate Insurance, drivers are more likely to get a ticket in Ohio than any other state, with Pennsylvania coming in second. And Ohio State Highway Patrol citations are on the rise. In 2012, the Ohio State Highway Patrol wrote 567,000 citations. In 2013, that number increased by about 5 percent to about 601,000 citations.
Extra patrols will be out this holiday weekend as Memorial Day marks the kickoff of the summer driving season, and the nationwide Click It or Ticket campaign also is under way.
“With Memorial Day weekend always being the official kickoff to summer and all of the activities and vacationing that goes with it, historically, we see there is a higher incidence of impaired driving and reckless driving,” said Holt. “We try to curb that, and we got out in full force and schedule all of our troopers to be working the road. We have zero tolerance for aggressive driving, impaired driving and seat belt violations.”
Pennsylvania is the number two state in the country when it comes to writing tickets. And in Western Pennsylvania, state police investigated 760 accidents last year alone.
Nationwide, more than 41 million people will receive a citation this year, according to eSurance.