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First half traffic deaths total 13 in Licking County

NEWARK – The Licking County Health Department’s (LCHD) Safe Communities Coalition reports six traffic fatalities during the second quarter of 2017, April 1 to June 30, in Licking County.

Of the six fatal crashes, one was a pedestrian, one was a motorcycle rider who was not wearing a helmet, and two involved a young driver (15 to 25 years old). Two of the crashes remain under investigation. From January 1 to June 30 this year, there have been 13 traffic-related fatalities in Licking County.

The number of traffic fatalities during the second quarter declined in the past few years. During the same time frame in 2016, there were seven fatalities, in 2015 there were eight, and in 2014 there were 10. While the number of fatalities has decreased, there is a spike in crashes during the beginning months of summer. Some traffic safety experts refer to the time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the “100 deadliest days” because of the sharp spike in crashes, especially among young drivers.

“Impaired driving and motorcycle fatalities are two of the issues we commonly see in the summer time,” said Hilary Requejo, Safe Communities Coordinator, Licking County Health Department. “Whether it is the warmer weather or a holiday weekend, there is no excuse for these tragedies. By planning ahead, being a mindful driver, and watching out for motorcycles, we can make our roads safer.”

The Safe Communities Coalition reminds drivers not to drink and drive and to plan ahead with a designated driver. “The message is simple, if you drink, do not drive. Do not take the risk. Find an alternate, safe way home so you do not risk your life or the lives of others,” said Requejo.

The Safe Communities Coalition will be promoting traffic safety issues including drunk driving prevention, seat belt use, distracted driving and motorcycle safety at the Hartford Fair from August 5-12. They will have a booth located in the Commerce Building where fair goers can experience the driving simulator, play the prize wheel, and receive more information about safe driving.

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