Patrol looks to decrease traffic fatalities

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) — With more people hitting the roads this summer, officers are doing what they can to prevent deadly accidents.

We searched through the statewide year-to-date numbers on the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s website. Numbers in Mahoning County and Trumbull County have dropped, while Columbiana County has seen an increase.

As of Monday, Mahoning County has seen a decrease of nine fatalities compared to the first five months of 2013. Trumbull County’s total dropped by six in that same time period.

“Hopefully, it’s a trend,” said Sgt. Brad Buecy of the Canfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

However, Columbiana County has seen an increase of nine fatalities for the first five months of 2014. There were two just last week alone.

Only Clermont County in southern Ohio had such a high increase, also with nine. Those two counties had the highest increase in the state.

Bucey has seen accidents that turn a family upside down.

“I can remember the first one I went to, I had to go home and talk to my wife about it,” Bucey said. “When you get there and see the carnage and the car and the possible body parts, it’s hard.”

This time of year, motorcyclists are at a high risk of being involved in deadly accidents.

“Wear a helmet. That can always save your life,” Bucey said.

Texting and driving or playing with the radio also be deadly. In Ohio, texting behind the wheel is a secondary offense, meaning a driver cannot be pulled over for texting alone.

“That makes it hard for law enforcement officers to make a huge impact,” Bucey said.

But officers said they are watching and will do what they can to lower the number of people dying in accidents.

“That’s a very difficult situation, to tell them that their loved ones are not coming home,” Bucey said.

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