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Don’t be another statistic this Labor Day weekend

September 2, 2012
Morning Journal News

Labor Day began in 1894 as a day for America to honor its workers.

It has changed significantly since that time. In addition to paying tribute to our country's workforce, it also used to mean the end of summer vacation for students and the beginning of fall and football. However, for some time, many area public schools have resumed classes in mid or late August and football kicks off early, too.

Now the holiday is simply regarded as a chance to have one last summer party. It's good to celebrate the end of one season and the unofficial beginning of another, but if that party includes alcohol, remember to stay safe by not getting behind the wheel after drinking.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is warning drivers that troopers will be out in force this Labor Day weekend to remove impaired drivers from roadways.

According to the OSP, 10 people died in fatal traffic crashes in Ohio over the Labor Day weekend last year - the fewest number in five years.

The state Department of Public Safety says the number is one fewer than in 2010 and 14 fewer than 2007, when fatalities had reached a five-year high. The data measures traffic crashes over the four-day holiday period ending Monday night.

Data also shows that the number of fatalities that were alcohol-related - three of the 10 -was the fewest in five years. The state says troopers arrested nearly 700 drivers on charges of driving while intoxicated, an increase of about 14 percent from 2010.

Declining traffic fatalities and fewer drunk drivers behind the wheel is something everyone should applaud.

So, if your holiday weekend celebrations get out of hand, be sure to let someone else do the driving. If not, you may find yourself facing a costly OVI charge or, even worse, be involved in an accident that results in serious injuries or death



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