The Zanesville Police Department was awarded $37,455.51, the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office was awarded $20,853.99 and the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office received $29,207.23 by the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Ohio Traffic Safety Office for the 2014 fiscal year to make Ohio’s roadways safer.
"The primary mission is to reduce traffic fatals in the state of Ohio through a collaborative effort," said Lt. Steve Rine. "And it’s supposed to be multiple agencies working in a corridor. An example would be on state route 60 or the interstate out here that you got the city running through that the city and state will work. If it’s state route 60 then it’s gonna be the county and us working through."
Lt. Matt Boyd of the State Highway Patrol said the grants are awarded based on traffic crash data and problem identification. Overtime hours will be used during peak holiday’s and during high-traffic hours of the day.
"We break the hours up so that we focus on particular areas of the year when it would be most useful. During the summer holidays, superbowl weekend, new years, things like that," explained Lt. Boyd.
The Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office also received a Safe Communities Program Grant to be used via multimedia to bring awareness to the community about traffic safety. Sheriff Matt Lutz said the grant will help take the financial burden off the county budget.
"We have a certain amount of cars out each day. And with this extra money provided by the state, obviously with more money, you can do more things," said Sheriff Lutz. "And so what this does is it allows us to put extra cars out. That really helps pay for the overtime. You’re more visible and can be doing more speed enforcement obviously to help cut down on traffic crashes."
Lt. Rine said so far in 2013, Ohio is at its lowest for statewide fatalities.