Ride share program attempts to decrease OVI-related crashes

Ride share program attempts to decrease OVI-related crashes

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Ride share program attempts to decrease OVI-related crashes

Drunk or impaired fatal accidents are down in the region this year, but law enforcement and ride share programs are encouraging New Year’s Eve revelers to not drive impaired.

In Montgomery County and the four counties that surround it there have been 22 OVI-related fatal accidents this year compared to 25 in 2017, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

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In Ohio, there have been 1,051 traffic fatalities compared to 1,174 in 2017, according to the state patrol. More than 40 percent of those were alcohol-related, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.

That’s why the prosecutor’s office, in a partnership with Heidelberg Distributing Company and AAA Miami Valley, is offering free cab rides home for Montgomery County residents today, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The program has provided more than 6,700 free cab rides for Montgomery County residents since 2007. ArriveSafe offered free rides home Dec. 22-26.

“All of those fatalities were completely avoidable if only a driver had not made the decision to get behind the wheel while impaired. This holiday season, there is no excuse for driving while impaired,” Prosecutor Mat Heck said.

To get a free ride, people can call 449-9999. The ArriveSafe program will pay up to $50. The rides are available through 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

According to National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration, 10,874 people were killed in 2017 in motor vehicle traffic crashes in which a driver had a blood alcohol concentration more than the legal limit of .08 grams per deciliter.

In December 2017, 885 people in the U.S. lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver.

“This holiday season, I hope that everyone is able to make it home safe and sound,” said MADD National President Helen Witty, whose 16-year-old daughter Helen Marie was killed by a drunken and drugged driver while she was rollerblading in Miami.

Uber expects ride demand to increase in the region from midnight to 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Fare prices will surge on New Year’s Eve as more people request rides. Uber officials said their app asks riders to confirm that they understand the fares are higher before a ride request is fulfilled.

The state patrol said it would have an increased presence on roadways to remove impaired drivers. Motorists are encouraged to report impaired drivers and drug activity by calling the Patrol at #677.

There have been 26,100 OVI arrests made in 2018 by the Ohio patrol, compared to 26,948 in 2017.

All types of fatal accidents in the region are down in 2018. In Montgomery County, 45 fatal accidents have been reported this year compared to 46 in 2017.

Rural Darke County is the only area county that has seen an increase in fatal accidents comparing the past two years. In 2018, six people have died compared to four in 2017.

Greene and Preble counties have seen dramatic drops this year in fatal crashes. Greene dropped from 16 in 2017 to five this year and Preble declined from 14 in 2017 to five in 2018.

Reporter Kara Driscoll contributed to this story


HOW TO GET

A RIDE HOME

• Call Arrive Safe, call 937-449-9999, for a free ride in Montgomery County

• Download the Uber or Lyft app before heading out for the evening

• Call a taxi service crash.

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