Local authorities asking residents to exercise caution during Memorial Day weekend

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Area law enforcement agencies and the Clark County Combined Health District are reminding the community to exercise caution during what has traditionally been a busy holiday weekend on the roadways.

Last year during Memorial Day weekend, nine fatal crashes occurred statewide, a decline from 2020, where a total of 20 fatal crashes occurred, according to data from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

In Clark and Champaign counties, no Memorial Day weekend traffic fatalities were reported last year. A total of 658 Ohio State Highway Patrol incidents – ranging from crashes to OVIs to instances of distracted driving and more – were reported in Clark County in 2021, while 41 were reported in Champaign County, the OSHP reported.

In 2020, Clark County saw 22 fatal crashes throughout the year, and more than 50% of those accidents involved passengers who were unbelted, according to the health district.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the 22,215 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2019, 47% were not wearing seat belts.

The county’s health district is working with local and state law enforcement agencies to kick off the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which focuses on safety education.

The health district will be hosting a seatbelt check from 10 a.m. to noon during the Springfield Swap Meet and Car Show at the Clark County Fairgrounds on Friday.

Springfield Police Division Chief Lee Graf said that during holiday weekends with pleasant weather, people will understandably want to be outside, travel, visit family and attend events.

“With this increase in travel, we want motorists to be cognizant of traffic laws and urge them to use caution on the roadways,” he said in a statement.

Precautions such as complying with the speed limit, wearing seatbelts and allowing plenty of time for road trips can go a long way in keeping oneself and others safe during holiday travel, he said.

Those who plan to consume alcoholic beverages at events this weekend should appoint a designated driver or make other transportation arrangements as an alternative to driving themselves, Graf said, noting that officers will be conducting regular patrols throughout the weekend.

There will be a short press conference, followed by a seat belt check at the Springfield Swap Meet and Car Show at the Clark County Fairgrounds.

The Click It or Ticket campaign focuses on safety education.

About the Author