All hands hit the road for Highway Patrol today
Troopers from across the state will be stepping away from their desks and into a cruiser today, part of the State Highway Patrol’s second “All Out” effort.
In addition to the troopers who regularly patrol the roads, most administrative troopers, including the superintendent, Col. John Born, will be out on patrol today.
The patrols are in response to a 19 percent increase in traffic fatalities in the first four months of the year, patrol spokeswoman Lt. Anne Ralston said. There were 318 deaths through April on Ohio roadways.
Ralston said good weather so far this year might have produced more motorcyclists, an increase in fatal crashes and more reckless driving. A bright spot has been fewer fatal crashes involving drunken drivers.
Ralston, who will patrol her former territory near Marietta, said troopers will be looking for “ crash-causing behaviors,” including speeding, improper lane changes, tailgating and running stop signs and red lights.
There are nearly 1,500 uniformed troopers in the state. Ralston was unsure exactly how many would be on the road during the three shifts at the state’s 55 patrol posts, but any that are on duty and able to patrol will be out there.
At the Marysville post, the three sergeants and commander, Lt. Ron Raines, will be out on the road full time today. Raines said he typically does traffic enforcement during his commute, as he travels in a marked cruiser, but today he will focus solely on the duty.
“It’s leadership by example,” said Raines, who last was a road trooper in 2004 at the Lancaster post. “As far as the public, it’s an increased presence on the roadways.”
All troopers through the rank of staff lieutenant have marked cruisers they already use. Captains and above may use an unmarked cruiser.
Born will start his day in the southern part of the state, where he lives, and spend the afternoon in central Ohio.
This is the second time troopers have gone all out. This past fall, a similar initiative wasn’t publicized, Ralston said.
“These are different ways we to try to educate the public, raise awareness of traffic safety and change driver behavior to make sure we’re keeping our roads as safe as possible,” Ralston said.
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