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Put the Brakes on Fatalities image

Safety at Intersections underlines Effort to “Put the Brakes on Fatalities”

ODOT, ODPS partner on reducing deadly accidents involving Ohio’s youngest drivers

COLUMBUS (October 10, 2008) – With statistics showing that deadly traffic accidents at intersections are claiming the lives of Ohio’s youngest drivers, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) are calling on teen drivers to “Put the Brakes on Fatalities.”

This partnership is part of a national effort, starting on October 10, to unite the country in reducing traffic deaths by encouraging safer driver behavior, especially with young drivers between the ages of 15 - 25.

The numbers are daunting: over the past five years, 653 young drivers were killed at Ohio intersections. Failure to yield resulted in 638 deaths, followed by 268 deaths for running stop or yield signs, and 214 deaths for failure to control.

“Whether as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or cyclist, we can reduce the number of fatalities on our roads if we work together in a concerted effort,” said ODOT Director James Beasley. "Motor vehicle fatalities should not be the leading cause of death for Americans from 2 to 34 years old.”

“Saving lives on our road is a top priority and we need everyone’s help to do it,” ODPS Director Henry Guzmán said. “Whether it’s through enforcement or educational efforts, the Department of Public Safety is working to help everyone make smart decisions, so you can assure a safe trip on our roadways.”

Of the 1,257 fatalities on Ohio’s roads in 2007, 473 were alcohol-related. There were also 482 fatalities in which the motorists or passengers were not wearing seat belts.

ODPS works to reduce deaths and injuries through the coordinated efforts of all of its Divisions. The Ohio Investigative Unit enforces laws like over-serving in liquor permit premises; the Ohio State Highway Patrol aggressively pursues impaired and unsafe drivers; the Ohio Traffic Safety Office funds the efforts of OVI Task Forces and other grants for law enforcement to combat impaired and unsafe driving. They also promote educational programs, coalition-building and campaigns for highway safety.

For more traffic safety tips, log on to the Put The Brakes on Fatalities website at www.brakesonfatalities.org
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For more information, contact Scott Varner, ODOT Communications, at (614) 644-8640
or Lindsey Komlanc, ODPS Communications, at (614) 752-4325