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ST. MARYS — With local highways expected to be busy with holiday traffic, a local state trooper stressed safety as motorists hit the road.
“The biggest thing this time of year is weather related,” said Sgt. Brian Jordan of the Wapakoneta Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol. “I know we are supposed to get some snow this week.”
While driving in inclement weather, Jordan cautioned against tailgating.
“The biggest thing we see is assured cleared distance,” Jordan said.
“We see that a lot when the roads are slippery because people don’t leave enough room in front of them. Also, bridges and overpasses are the first to freeze. When the weather gets cold, it doesn’t have to snow if there is enough moisture in the air, they will turn to ice.”
For longer trips, vehicle maintenance should top the checklist before leaving home.
“One good piece of advice is to make sure you have good tires on your vehicle with plenty of tread,” Jordan said. “Check your windshield wipers — just a little snow and slush on the road and it’s going on your windshield and if it’s not good, it will freeze and cause a view obstruction.”
With New Year’s Eve falling on a weekend this year, Jordan said he expects a busy holiday and full roads.
As motorists hit the roads to mark the new year, he said troopers will be out in full force in search of impaired drivers.
“There will probably be a few more out just because it’s on a weekend,” Jordan said.
“I think since it’s on a weekend, folks may travel to a distant place more so because it’s not during the week. New Year’s Eve is definitely pretty busy for us. We’ll be looking for impaired drivers to make sure everyone gets where they are going safely.”
Planning ahead and selecting a designated driver can help make the holiday a safe one, Jordan noted.
“We definitely don’t want them driving if they are impaired,” Jordan said.
Jordan also encouraged the public to help out in keeping impaired motorists off the roads this weekend.
“They can either call the local patrol, police department or sheriff’s office,” Jordan said, noting callers also can remain anonymous.
“If they want to give it anonymously, we aren’t just going to not take the call — that’s something we won’t take a chance on. Just because you are anonymous, that doesn’t mean we won’t check it out ... The most important thing is to get them off the road if they are impaired not only for their safety, but for everyone else’s safety as well.”