OTTAWA — Putnam County was the only county in the state without a fatal accident in 2019.
The report was released Jan. 2 by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
“It’s about teamwork and the road patrol, dispatchers and police departments and state patrol helping us out and responding quickly,” said Brian Siefker, Putnam County sheriff.
He also attributed the ranking to the state and county garages, township trustees and villages being proactive in treating winter roads to make them safer.
Siefker also believes drivers are being responsible overall, wearing seat belts and using Uber or party buses instead of driving while drunk.
He said the goal in 2020 will be for the county to maintain the no fatality ranking.
Mike Klear, Putnam County Office of Public Safety director, said earning the no-fatality ranking is a combination of work by law enforcement and safe, distraction-free driving by residents.
“It’s important for people to be safe on the roads and slow down and they are doing that,” Klear said. He also believes more people are wearing seat belts than in the past.
Michael Lammers, Putnam County commissioner, said the accomplishment proves to him that Putnam County is a special place to live and raise a family.
“We take care of each other, watch out for our neighbors and when we are driving down the road we watch out for people coming at us to avoid accidents,” Lammers said.
In Allen County last year, there were seven traffic crashes that resulted in nine fatalities.
The Lima-Allen County Safe Community Coalition reports there were no fatal traffic crashes on Allen County roadways during the month of December 2019.
In 2018, there were nine fatal crashes, resulting in 12 fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, each traffic fatality has a comprehensive cost of $5,811,333. Total comprehensive costs for 2019 Allen County traffic fatalities is $52,301,997.
The report can be viewed at statepatrol.ohio.gov/statistics/statspage.asp
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.