Champaign County Sheriff Matt Melvin recently announced the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s (ODPS) Ohio Traffic Safety Office (OTSO) awarded $17,193.30 in federal traffic safety funding to the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office for the federal fiscal year 2023.
“These funds are critical in ensuring that we are doing everything we possibly can to keep our local community safe,” said Sheriff Melvin. “Based on crash data, speed, impaired driving, and restraint use are priorities for Champaign County and we are committed to working with our partners at the state level to address this safety issue.”
Over the three-year period of 2019, 2020, and 2021, crash data shows that there were 115 crashes related to alcohol-impaired driving. From those crashes, 50 were injuries and 3 were fatalities in Champaign County. To reduce these numbers, the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting high-visibility enforcement by working overtime hours and holding educational and awareness events with the grant funds. Data also showed that in the three-year period between 2019, 2020, and 2021 there were 16 fatalities in Champaign County from people who failed to wear their seat belts. In total there were 18 total fatalities from all three years combined.
The funds are passed through OTSO from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to support the efforts of safety partners statewide and focus on traffic safety priority areas such as restraint use, impaired driving, motorcycle safety, and youthful drivers.
Competitive grant proposals are accepted and reviewed by OTSO, with funds awarded to projects that will have the greatest impact on reducing fatal crashes or significantly improving traffic safety systems.
For more information about OTSO and statewide efforts to improve safety on Ohio’s roadways, log on to http://ohiohighwaysafetyoffice.ohio.gov/index.stm