The Ohio State Highway Patrol, Hocking County Sheriff’s Office and Athens County Sheriff’s Office are working together to reduce crashes in the region, the offices announced Friday.

Troopers and deputies will be focusing on crash causing violations such as impaired driving, speed, and distracted driving to reduce fatal crashes in the two counties. In 2021, the top routes for fatal and injury crashes in the two county region were U.S. 33 (38), state Route 664 (18), U.S. 50 (16) and state Route 93 (16).

Fatal and injury crashes occurred most frequently between the hours of 1 p.m. — 5:59 p.m., accounting for 37 percent of these crashes.

“Poor decisions behind the wheel can have lifelong consequences for the driver, passengers, and others,” said Lieutenant Steven P. Daugherty, Athens Post commander. “Troopers will be impressing upon the motoring public that responsibility, awareness and safe speeds are essential to everyone getting to their destinations safely.”

Hocking County Sheriff Lanny North said his office is committed to reducing crashes.

“The Hocking County Sheriff’s Office is committed to providing safe roadways for the residents and visitors of our county,” North said. “We will work in a coordinated and dedicated approach with other law enforcement agencies to ensure that dangerous driving habits are addressed and hopefully curbed.”

Awareness and education to the motoring public about the dangers of these violations will be the main focus for the three agencies. Crash data and enforcement statistics show that a concerted effort is needed to address fatal and injury crashes in the two counties.

“Working alongside the Patrol and Hocking County Sheriff, we aim to reduce fatalities and make Athens County a safer county for everyone, Smith said”

The offices encouraged all motorists to drive sober, following the speed limit, and paying attention to the road. The public is also encouraged to use #677 to report dangerous or impaired drivers, as well as drug activity.

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