Robert R. Hart, Jr., Attorney at Law
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Summer driving concerns

Ohio drivers must stay sharp this summer as Ohio State Highway Patrol officers will be watching. The authorities are dealing with more people on the road than normal and have already seen a variety of unsafe driving behaviors. The rise in vehicles on the road may be due to low gas prices and an improving economy.

During Memorial Day weekend, troopers in Belmont County wrote more than 1,000 citations. There were 128 seat belt violations, three instances of drug possession and 18 cases of impaired driving. During the four-day period of Jamboree in the Hills last year, there were 30 cases of drunk driving. Troopers expect more impaired motorists this year.

When stopping drivers, officers frequently dealt with distracted driving, speeding and careless driving. Some drivers also displayed aggressive behavior with improper lane changes and swerving in and out of traffic. Safe driving is especially important in areas with major construction projects like two bridge replacements and an overpass connecting U.S. 40 and the Ohio Valley Mall. More troopers are working near the construction areas as speed limits have been lowered and there are narrow lanes in these locations.

Troopers are always concerned about holidays. All troopers will work on the Fourth of July weekend, and districts often partner to allow for better coverage of important areas.

Various traffic violations might occur when one is charged with speeding, running a red light, drinking and driving or reckless driving. The severity of a conviction depends on the circumstances involved. If a driver is involved in an accident that injures someone or damages property, the consequences could be more serious. The driver might want to consider fighting any charges, and an attorney could evaluate the case and recommend possible courses of action.

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