SIDNEY — Shelby County Juvenile Court Judge Jeff Beigel discussed the options the court system has for juveniles who appear in court on traffic violations. Beigel attended Tuesday morning’s Governor’s Community Traffic Safety Network of Shelby County meeting which was held at the Sidney Fire Department.
Beigel told those present that many factors can be considered when the juvenile appears in court.
“I can give them a two-year license suspension on their first traffic offense,” said Beigel. That option, he said, depends on whether the juvenile has been in trouble with the court system before receiving their driver’s license.
“On a second offense, there is a 90-day license suspension,” said Beigel. “On a third offense, they face a one-year license suspension.” Both suspensions, he said, are required by state law.
“I don’t have to give them driving privileges to work,” he said. “I can also place them on probation and assign them community services.”
If drugs are alcohol are involved with the traffic violation, mandatory counseling is required.
“Seventy percent of the first time traffic offenders never come back to court,” said Beigel.
He said he also has other options available to him when dealing with traffic violations.
“I can place them in a diversion program, which requires them to attend the Carteen Program,” said Beigel. “If they don’t have any more problems, then I can divert two points from their license. By doing this, they would have no record with the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles). But if they come back into court within a year, I have the option to do all these things to them.”
Beigel said when a teen has to come to juvenile court, his/her parent must attend the hearing with them. The parent is also required to go to the Carteen Program or the Advanced Driving Program, which he can send the youth to if they have a second or third offense.
The driving program, he said, is a full-day program held in Fairborn. It costs $160 and parents attend with them.
“Every kid is different,” said Beigel. “We have to make sure they have learned their lesson.”
Beigel said the juvenile court system has done programs in the local schools dealing with truancy and sexting.
“If I think their cellphone contributed to their ticket, I can take the phone away from them,” said Beigel.
Beigel said the youth don’t seem to be affected when he talks about the fines they face for the traffic violation.”It’s not until I say I can take their cellphone, internet and social media away from them that they turn white.”
Beigel said when a youth appears in his court for a second offense, he looks at the other circumstances that might have contributed to the appearance.
Sidney Fire Chief Brad Jones reviewed the monthly and year-to-date reports for his department. In September, the department responded to one building fire, bringing the yearly total to 22 building fires. In 2016, they responded to 25 building fires through the month of September and in 2015, the number was 30.
The city EMS calls was 260 for September, bringing the yearly total to 2,2029. Total EMS calls for the month was 305 with a yearly total or 2,424.
“There were 4,083 calls for service last year,” said Jones. We are on pace to pass that number this year.”
Captain Bill Shoemaker, Sidney Police Department, reported the number of accidents in the city are down from 2016.
“We now using the state website for numbers,” said Shoemaker. “Property damage accidents are not recorded on the state website.”
In 2016, there were 525 property damage crashes. In 2017 there have been 391 so far.
Citations are up to 1,145 so far in 2017, compared to 1,091 through September 2016.
Shoemaker said three candidates are going through the police academy right now. They will be joining the department when their training is complete.
The police department’s report also included incidents involving drug use. During the month, nine calls were received for overdoses for a year-to-date total of 122. The number of reports taken involving a drug code (excluding overdoses) was 10, with a year-to-date number of 115. Eight people have been charged with a drug violation.
Lt. Joe Gebhart, Piqua Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, reported a trooper used Narcan on a person in a vehicle on Interstate 75 in Shelby County Monday afternoon.
“We are receiving calls about reckless drivers,” said Gebhart. These drivers, he said, are sometimes drug-impaired drivers.
He said the post has a trooper trained to recognize a drug-impaired driver. Troopers know how to deal with drunk drivers, drug-impaired drivers and those suffering from mental illness.
Assistant City Manager Gary Clough reported various projects will be starting soon around the city. The bridge on Jefferson Street will replaced and the street will be closed a couple of months. The city resurfaced 13 miles of streets in 2018. He expects 16 miles to be resurfaced in 2018.
The traffic signal at state Route 47 and Fourth Street will be replaced in November. A traffic signal will also be added at the exit ramps of Interstate 75 at state Route 29.
In other business, the committee
• Discussed holding a mock crash before the proms in 2018. Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst will check with the schools to see who holds their own mock crash and the Shelby County Commissioners to discuss using the fairgrounds for the event.
• Learned from Deb Barga, Shelby County AAA, that she is looking for additional education programs to be held at the county high schools.
The committee’s next meeting will be Jan. 16, 2018.