Last updated: August 23. 2013 11:50AM - 47 Views

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LIMA — Fatal crashes in Allen County last year were at a 23-year low with four, leaders announced Friday.“We have records back to 1987 and that’s a low,” said Evelyn Smith, coordinator for the Lima-Allen County Safe Community Coalition.Smith was pleased by the numbers but could not offer a single reason for the decrease. There were four fatal crashes last year compared to 12 the year before. Smith said its likely a combination of various reasons working together such as educating the public, enforcement by police agencies, better emergency medicine and better engineering at dangerous locations. A few points that stuck out about the fatal crashes in 2010: all who died were male, all crashes were in the country and one was alcohol related, Smith said. Local law enforcement officers used the announcement as a time to remind drivers to be safe on the roads during Super Bowl weekend, which they said has as much drinking as the holiday weekends.Officers are going to be out in force this weekend looking for drunken drivers. The Allen County Sheriff’s Office has received a grant to pay overtime for six additional officers to patrol the roads over the weekend, said Sgt. Scott Nolan.“We will be looking for OVI offenders,” he said.Lt. Brant Zemelka, commander of the Lima Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said he will put extra troopers on the roads Sunday evening to target drunken drivers and other violations, especially after the game.“Ever year it’s been increasing in the people you see going to parties,” Zemelka said.Police leaders said bars are hosting Super Bowl events to draw in more customers. Zemelka said people seem to be enjoying getting together more in recent years and having parties.Lima Police Maj. Kevin Martin said his officers will be looking for impaired drivers Sunday. Martin does not want to spoil anyone’s party but he doesn’t want anyone getting hurt.“I have no problem with people drinking as long as people are having designated drivers,” Martin said.Nolan said the big reason for enforcement is safety of everyone on the road.“We just want to make sure everyone gets home safe,” Nolan said.You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.

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