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Licking County records eight traffic fatalities in fourth quarter

NEWARK – The Licking County Health Department’s (LCHD) Safe Communities Coalition reports eight traffic fatalities during the fourth quarter of 2018, October 1 through December 31, in Licking County.

Of the eight fatalities, two involved drivers not wearing their seatbelt, and another involved a motorist who tested positive for drugs. During this time last year, there were also eight reported fatal crashes.

“A recent concern for Licking County is the occurrence of crashes involving a driver under the influence of drugs,” said Jon Kraus, Safe Communities Coordinator at LCHD. In just the last five months, two out of the ten total fatal crashes involved motorists who tested positive for illegal drugs. In one case, the driver was estimated to be going 80-90 mph.

“It’s vital people understand alcohol is not the only substance that impacts how you drive. If you think driving while high won’t affect you, you are wrong. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reminds that it doesn’t matter what term is used. If a person is high, stoned, wasted, or drunk, he or she is impaired. Driving while impaired by any substance is illegal and can be deadly to the driver and others on the road,” concluded Kraus.

The Safe Communities Coalition and local law enforcement will continue efforts to decrease fatalities by reminding everyone that If You Feel Different, You Drive Different and Click It or Ticket. Although simple, these initiatives act as reminders for drivers to make smart decisions and alcohol is not the only substance that can impact driving.

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