Safe holiday travel urged amid rising deaths

Posted at 1:10 PM, Dec 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-22 18:57:18-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- State officials are preaching road safety in anticipation of heavy end-of-year holiday travel, as Ohio already has dozens more traffic deaths this year than in all of 2014.

State Highway Patrol statistics show 1,023 traffic fatalities confirmed in 2015, with several dozen more not yet verified. Ohio had 981 traffic deaths last year.

The patrol's superintendent, Col. Paul Pride, said Tuesday that travelers can help the safety effort by wearing seat belts, respecting speed limits and avoiding distracted or impaired driving.

"There are going to be more troopers out there. We are going to target aggressive driving and impaired driving. We just want folks to make it where they’re going in one piece," Pride said.

Some drivers might not see snow because of unusually warm weather, but the Ohio Department of Transportation says they could face other slowdowns, including construction zones.

The department says auto club AAA predicts a record 4 million Ohioans will travel more than 50 miles from home this week.