Toledo police Chief George Kral recently announced some grim statistics: Lucas County has had 12 fatal crashes, nine of those in Toledo, so far this year. By this date last year, there had been two.
“What my fellow law enforcement leaders and I have to say is very simple: slow down, pay attention to your driving, and don’t drink and drive,” Chief Kral said.
It is hard to understand why Chief Kral even needs to have this conversation in 2017.
Vehicles are safer, major highway projects have been completed around the area, yet people are dying at inexplicable levels because people continue to be dumb on the roads. Of the 12 fatal accidents, five were blamed on reckless and excessive speed, while four were believed to be alcohol-related. These are worrisome numbers.
Days after Mr. Kral’s warning, three more people died in a Sunday morning accident in Jerusalem Township. That crash is under investigation, so it is not known yet whether alcohol or speed was to blame, but it is known that none of the three who died were wearing seat belts.
Wear a safety belt. Don’t be distracted by your phone while driving downtown, because there will be a lot of pedestrians on the streets. And use a designated driver, taxi, Uber, or Lyft if you choose to drink.
A 2015 Temple University study found that there were decreased numbers of alcohol-related fatal crashes with the arrival of Uber in California. A June, 2016, study by professors at Providence College in Rhode Island and Stonehill College in Massachusetts found that deaths and DUI arrests declined in areas that have ride-sharing apps available. Toledo is one of those areas.
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