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State Highway Patrol kicks off nationwide effort to reduce fatal accidents

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

If you're hitting the road this weekend, you'll probably notice some extra troopers out there. The State Highway Patrol is taking part in a nationwide effort to reduce fatal traffic accidents. It's called the 75 challenge, and it's kicking off Friday June 27.

Troopers are doubling their manpower on I-75. They'll be keeping an eye out for any type of driving that could cause an accident.

"The focus of it is crash violations. Speed, following too close, OVI enforcement and failure to wear safety belts," said Sergeant Jared Ulinski, State Highway Patrol.

The goal is to reduce the number fatal traffic accidents. The Highway Patrol is using money from federal grants to put extra troopers on the road this weekend.

"If we have more vehicles on the road, we're stopping more vehicles and taking more impaired drivers off the road," said Ulinski.

It is all organized by the National Traffic Safety Administration. Law enforcement agencies from Michigan down to Florida will be cracking down on drivers along I-75. Within the Toledo area, troopers say their focus is on those riding motorcycles.

"The reason for that is last year we had a huge up-tick of motorcycle involved fatalities," said Ulinski.

In 2012 there were three fatal motorcycle accidents in our region of the highway patrol. That number doubled in 2013 when there were six.

"It was following too close and speed. Motorcycles by nature go fast and unfortunately when you go fast, you don't have the reaction time to slow down in time. So unfortunately that is one of the leading causes we have with motorcycle fatalities," said Ulinski.

Patrol says those are exactly the type of driving behaviors they'll be looking out for. This enforcement blitz runs through midnight on Sunday. Troopers say the best way you can stay safe out there is to obey the speed limit and keep a safe following distance.

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