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Traffic safety reminders from West Chester Police

Post Date:12/01/2017 10:37 AM

Law enforcement is on the lookout for reckless motorists.

With the holiday season upon us, 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.

Take heed before you take the wheel. 

web-cruiserDrive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Drunken or impaired driving is always a dumb, dangerous decision. It’s especially deadly around holidays, like Christmas and New Year's Eve, when families and friends hit the road to enjoy parties and get-togethers.

Nationally in 2016, 37,461 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, and 28 percent (10,497) died in crashes where a driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the limit of .08 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In fact, from 2012-2016, 14,472 people lost their lives in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the month of December.

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 winter, aggressively stopping drunk drivers 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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