OHIO TRAFFIC FATALITIES REACH HISTORIC LOW IN 2009

Traffic deaths on Ohio’s highways last year were at a historic low, representing the safest year on record for those traveling the state’s highways, according to preliminary 2009 fatality statistics released today by the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS), the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the state’s traffic safety partners.

In 2009, 1,028 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes – a 14 percent decline from the previous historic low of 1,191 fatalities in 2008. As a result, Ohio exceeded its interim statewide goal of fatality reduction, which was to reduce total motor vehicle fatalities to no more than 1.0 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled or 1,100 fatalities by the end of 2010.

2009 preliminary Ohio traffic safety statistics also indicate steady declines in most reporting categories. Overall, the number of motor vehicle fatal crashes decreased to 952 in 2009, as compared with 1,099 fatal crashes in 2008. Motorcycle fatalities and fatal crashes also declined during the past year, with 163 deaths reported (down from 213 in 2008) and 158 fatal motorcycle crashes reported (down from 212 in 2008).

Perhaps the greatest area of progress was in the area of impaired driving, where alcohol-involved fatal motor vehicle crashes declined by nearly 25 percent in 2009, with 320 reported statewide (down from 422 in 2008).

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