Local law enforcement traffic safety blitz

Piqua — As the summer kicks in to high gear, deputies from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, officers from Covington Police Department, and troopers from the Piqua Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol are joining forces to target crash causing violations in northwest Miami County.

The traffic safety initiative titled, “Newberry Blitz,” will run July 1-July 31. Troopers from the Piqua post will work with deputies from the sheriff’s office and officers from the Covington Police Department, focusing their enforcement efforts on speed, failure to yield, improper passing, safety belt, and impaired driving violations.

“The Newberry Blitz is part of the 1,100 hours of overtime deputies will work this year focusing on poor driving habits which result in crashes,” Sheriff Charles Cox said. “The overtime and related costs such as fuel for the cruisers is reimbursed to the county through a grant that has been awarded to the Sheriff’s office for at least the past 10 years.”

In the past it has been proven that preventative patrol works to cut fatalities and reduce crashes.

“The reduction of serious injuries and deaths as a result of traffic crashes is a community problem,” Lieutenant Joseph Gebhart, Piqua OSHP Commander, said. “We have an excellent working relationship with all the area law enforcement agencies and we are all working toward a common goal, to make our community safer,” continued Gebhart. “It is important that we continue to educate motorists about the importance of traffic safety,” said Gebhart.

According to traffic crash statistics from the Department of Public Safety, there were a total of 246 traffic crashes from Jan. 2013 through Dec. 31, 2014 in Newberry Township. Of those, 64 were injury crashes and four of those crashes were fatalities.