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Traffic safety reminders from West Chester Police

Post Date:06/29/2017 10:37 AM

Law enforcement is on the lookout for reckless motorists this summer.

With vacation season here, the West Chester Police Department reminds the traveling public of some important traffic safety laws. Police departments across the country are stepping up patrols as part of three major national safety campaigns centered on impaired driving, seat belt laws, and protecting public safety workers.

Take heed before you take the wheel. 

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Drunken or impaired driving is always a dumb, dangerous decision and it’s especially deadly around the holidays. The Independence Day holiday is one of America’s deadliest holidays of the year due to drunken-driving crashes.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 10,000 motorists were killed in 2015 in drunken-driving related crashes and more than 200 died in alcohol-related crashes during that year’s Fourth of July holiday period.

Plan ahead any time your plans include alcohol. Designate a sober driver, use your favorite rideshare app, or call a cab instead of driving impaired. As always, WCPD will be out in full force this Independence Day, stopping drunken drivers by aggressively targeting those who put lives in danger.

Click It or Ticket

Buckling a safety belt whenever  you get in a vehicle should be second nature. Seat belts save thousands of lives each year. In 2015, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 13,941 lives of occupants ages 5 and older according to the NHTSA.

Police departments around the country are cracking down on enforcement of "Click It Or Ticket" laws. Ohio law stipulates every driver and front seat passenger must wear a seat belt. Kids ages 8-15 years old must wear a seat belt or use a child restraint device at all times, no matter which seat they use in the vehicle.

To be most effective in the event of an accident, the seat belt should go over your hips, not belly, and the shoulder belt should lay across the chest going over the shoulder. (NOTE: For child safety seats and booster seats, follow the seat manufacturer’s instructions.)

Slow Down, Move Over

Those who work along our roads and highways face danger every day, including construction and utility workers and public safety personnel. When approaching an emergency vehicle pulled to the side of the road with its lights activated, Ohio law requires motorists to slow down or, if possible, move over by changing lanes.

“Slow Down, Move Over” laws are in place for the protection and wellbeing of first-responders and other public safety workers. This includes construction and maintenance workers along the roadside.

Ohio’s law allows for fines up to twice the usual amount for violations, in addition to other penalties. 

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