OSP increases local enforcement

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) — State Highway Patrol troopers in six states are teaming up to crack down on distracted driving this week.

It’s part of an effort to reduce the number of fatal crashes and increase awareness about the dangers of drivers taking their eyes off the road, even for a second.

Talking, texting, and aggressive driving; those are just a few of the things the Ohio State Highway Patrol is looking for with increased enforcement this week. It’s part of a six-state crack down on educating drivers of all ages about dangerous distractions behind the wheel.

“And quite frankly, it’s deadly at times, we’ve had fatal crashes where distracted driving played a part in it,” said Sgt. Bret Henderson of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Last yea,r 56 people died in Ohio from accidents caused by distracted driving, but troopers said that number is actually a lot higher because those 56 were only the cases that they could prove.

“You know there are others where you know distracted driving played a role but you might not necessarily be able to list that as a contributor, but it’s pretty obvious it does,” said Henderson.

That’s why they’re targeting distracted driving. They hope by increasing awareness about the dangers of taking your eyes off the road, they’ll reduce the death count.

“When you get behind the wheel of a car you have to focus on your driving if for some reason something distracts you in the vehicle, you need to pull over and take care of it,” finished Henderson.

The six-state trooper project runs through Saturday night. They’ll be issuing citations to the drivers they pull over.

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