The number of traffic fatalities in the state hit a record low for 2013, but the State Highway Patrol reports that there were three fatalities to start off the new year.
Two of the fatal crashes happened in Adams and Fayette counties, while the third occurred in Holmes County. According to the OSHP, none of the people killed were wearing a seatbelt. Lieutenant Matt Boyd of the Zanesville Post said there were 966 confirmed traffic deaths in 2013, the lowest number of traffic fatalities Ohio has seen since record keeping began in 1936. He attributes the decline to a number of things including safer vehicles and roads, and increased enforcement efforts.
"Our local agencies from village police departments to the city of Zanesville, the sheriff's offices, they contribute a lot to that as well," Lt. Boyd explained. "Sheriff Rogers in Coshocton and his people, and Sheriff Lutz here in Muskingum County, their people do a great job and I feel that their efforts, as well as ours, and us working together, contributes to that."
Boyd said locally, the numbers are also improving. In 2012, there were 23 people killed in traffic accidents in the post area which includes Muskingum and Coshocton counties, that number decreased to 11 fatalities in 2013.
"Of course anybody that's killed is too many. None of our numbers, regardless, unless they got to zero, it doesn't do much for the families that lost people in traffic crashes."
Boyd says overall, the numbers are an accomplishment and says they're working toward doing even better for the new year.