Safety Council cancels mock crash

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — The cold weather caused the Shelby County Mock Crash to be canceled again this year.

Organizers, during Tuesday’s Governor’s Community Traffic Safety Network of Shelby County meeting, felt the cold weather would likely be too much of a distraction to make the event as effective as intended.

The mock crash is held every other year for Sidney, Lehman Catholic and Christian Academy High School juniors and seniors at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. Last year it was canceled due to construction of the new grandstand at the fairgrounds. Organizers hoped to have one this year instead of waiting for two years.

The event, scheduled to last about an hour Wednesday morning, April 18, was designed to help students understand the dangers of drinking and driving. The goal was to reduce driving under the influence and alcohol-related crashes during the prom and graduation seasons.

It was noted that Jackson Center is about to hold a mock crash. Attendees Tuesday discussed the potential of having a mock crash on one day in which all area schools could be bused to the fairgrounds for a morning or an afternoon crash re-creation.

Statistics for the first three months of the year were presented for the Sidney Police, the Ohio Highway Patrol and the Sidney Fire Department. Representatives of the Ohio Department of Transportation were unable to attend, Tuesday.

So far in 2018, there have been 180 crashes in the city of Sidney, reported Police Chief Will Balling. He said 51 of those crashed were on private property. Those types of crashes have been on the rise. There have been 18 charges of operating a vehicle while under the influence. There have been 392 citations, along with 106 citations for no operator’s license and driving under suspension. There have been 1,910 traffic stops and 6,948 calls for service.

Lt. Joseph Gebhart, Piqua Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol commander, said they are down one trooper. He said they have 15 on board right now and have one currently in training.

He reported that there have been 55 crashes in Shelby County so far in 2018. And there were 126 seat belt violations issued.

There have been 692 enforcement stops so far in the county. They have issued 759 warnings and provided 442 motorist assists.

There have been 168 fires in the city of Sidney so far in 2018, said Sidney Fire Chief Brad Jones. There have been 197 mutual aid calls for fires.

There have been 496 EMS calls so far this year, down some from the 541 during the same period in 2017. That total includes city EMS calls, motor vehicle accidents with no injuries, Ohio Living Dorothy Love EMS calls, township EMS calls and mutual aid EMS calls.

Fire Deputy Chief Cameron Haller reported that in February, the fire department had no calls for overdoses, and in March, there were seven incidents from seven patients in which naloxone was administered 12 times.

Sidney Assistant City Manager/Public Works Director Gary Clough gave a brief overview of some upcoming projects in the city this year.

He said the paving of the Jefferson Street bridge replacement, which was scheduled to begin on April 19, is being pushed back until next week. Letitia Drive, Elizabeth Court and Ruth Street will be closed during water main replacements, set to begin this week. The construction on Ruth Street is scheduled to begin mid-May.

Clough said the city applied again this year for a grant for the Russell Road reconstruction. Sidney was denied the last two years, he said. It will be an expensive project of road reconstruction that will include water and sewer replacements. The curb and gutter replacement program is ongoing all over town, he said. Street resurfacing is expected to start mid-July; asphalt rejuvenation will begin in May.

Also the new traffic signal on Fourth Avenue at state Route 47 should be operational within about a month.

Construction of Love’s Travel Stop will begin soon at the southeast corner of Vandemark and Fair roads. The truck stop will be making some roadway improvements and expansions, including a new turn lane, a new traffic signal at Fair Road and the southbound Interstate 75, as well upgrading the existing traffic signal at Fair Road and Vandemark Road to a mast arm signal post.

The state Route 47 reconstruction project from Fourth Avenue to Walnut Avenue is progressing to the second stage, Clough said.

The committee’s next meeting will be July 17 at 8:30 a.m. at a location to be announced.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.