14 killed on Ohio highways over holiday weekend

Highway Patrol writes fewer citations than last year’s Memorial Day weekend.

Fourteen people died over the Memorial Day weekend on state highways, one more than the total for the same four days last year, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Montgomery, Clark, Preble and Miami counties each reported one fatal accident from Friday through Monday.

Three of the latest statewide fatalities were drug- or alcohol-related, and four people who died were not wearing their safety belts, the patrol said. In 2013, 18 died on Ohio roadways during the holiday period.

Driver behavior appears to be improved over last year, statistics show.

The patrol reported that troopers issued 26,924 citations over the weekend, down 22.9 percent from 2014 when 37,514 tickets were issued.

“We dedicate all our resources to traffic safety over the holiday period. People drive better knowing officers are out there,” Craig Cvetan, spokesman for the Patrol, said.

The patrol made 544 OVI arrests and cited 5,513 motorists for safety belt violations over the weekend.

There have been 308 fatal crashes in the state this year.

“Troopers are highly visible during weekends when we expect increased traffic to deter motorists from making poor decisions,” Patrol superintendent Col. Paul A. Pride said. “We thank everyone who slowed down, buckled up and designated sober drivers this weekend.”

State troopers weren’t just writing tickets. They made 16,957 non-enforcement contacts, of which 4,212 were to assist motorists.

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