Motorcycle Safety Day, Saturday

The Wood County Safe Communities Coalition will hold a Motorcycle Safety Day Saturday, May 10, 2019 at noon at the Bowing Green Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 12891 Middleton Pike, Bowling Green. Members of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Motorcycle Unit will be on hand for demonstrations and safety talks. This year’s efforts will be in memory of Zandra Anthony, a treasured coalition partner who died as a result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash in 2018.  

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Sheriff made wrong call on storm level

Mark,   I am a registered Republican and have never voted for anyone other than a Republican.   I have voted for you every time you ran and have met you.   My point is that you are taking a hard line on this issue and I can tell you that people feel you are wrong on this, even Republicans.   People rely on YOU to give them accurate information and the reality of Saturday was that you didn’t    I drove from Hancock county which was a level 2 to BG and it was at least as bad.   All I am saying is that playing the Trump line, which we both know is the case here, is not in the best interest of public safety. Jasen Leffel Bowling Green Mark Wasylyshyn response Jan. 21 at 10:05 p.m. Dear Jasen, As you know I rarely issue level three. I strongly believe in people having the right to travel when they wish. I recently educated myself about the levels and spoke with a man involved with creating them. He confirmed what I sent out.  You don’t sound like a Republican.  Usually Republicans are for individual rights not government dictating when you can leave travel. Last opponent ran campaign against me promising many more level threes. She did not fair (sic) well.  If I get voted out doing the right thing then I’ll move on and you can stay home per orders when it snows.Mark WasylyshynWood County SheriffSo what changed since last year when it comes to issuing a certain level?   You issued them last year.   I really hope this is not anything politically motivated but sense it really is.   I guess ALL the other surrounding sheriffs must be wrong.   I am a lifelong Republican and you are really taking the wrong avenue on this if you plan to be re-elected.   Please reconsider your stance if and when the next storm hits.The roads were definitely bad, at a minimum a level 1 but in my opinion a level 2.  People aren’t stupid and this will come up during the next election cycle.Jasen Leffel

Sheriff defends decision to rely on citizens’ common sense – not issue snow emergency

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn is getting a flurry of complaints from local residents for not declaring any type of snow emergency after seven inches of snow covered the region on Saturday. Huron, Wyandot and Ottawa counties declared Level 2 snow emergencies. Lucas, Henry, Seneca, Williams, Hancock, Putnam, Fulton, Sandusky, Erie and Defiance counties declared Level 1 snow emergencies. In the regional map of counties, Wood County stood out as the only with no cautionary measures issued by the sheriff. The sheriff’s office has been fielding complaints about the issue the last two days. “There have been so many phone calls,” Wasylyshyn said. “I have a rule in my office – to put calls through to my extension.” So the sheriff got to hear many of the complaints personally. “I realize I’m not going to please everybody. Some want the roads closed if we get one inch of snow. Some don’t want the government to tell them when they can go out.” Wasylyshyn said his frequent communications with road deputies and county snowplow crews over the weekend led him to the decision that there was no need to declare any level of snow emergency. “We did have high winds, but we didn’t have the whiteout conditions,” he said. There were no large drifts on major roadways, he added. And as the sheriff drove Ohio 25 between Bowling Green and Perrysburg, traffic was slow but steady. “Do I close down the road when people are able to drive 45 mph?” But why was Wood County the only in the region to not have a snow emergency declared? Wasylyshyn said other counties had other problems that contributed to their road issues. For example, Port Clinton had flooding conditions that contributed to problems. And Wyandot County’s snowplows shut down at midnight, he said. “We’re lucky in Wood County,” the sheriff said. The county has 15 snowplows that work round the clock during bad weather. But the bottom line for Wasylyshyn is that people need to use their own common sense before venturing outside in winter conditions. “I trust that people will use their common sense and decide if they need to go where they want to go,” he said. And for those people without common sense? Wasylyshyn suggested that people consult with the region’s meteorologists for updates. Business concerns don’t influence the sheriff’s decisions, he said,…

Safe Communities committee reviews four fatal accidents

From SAFE COMMUNITIES OF WOOD COUNTY Wood County Safe Communities’ Fatal Data Review Committee met on Tuesday, Jan. 8, to review 4 fatal crashes from the fourth quarter of 2018. The following fatal crashes were reviewed:  9/29/2018 26250 W. River Rd.  10/24/2018 Poe at Wapakoneta  11/15/2018 I-75 at Turnpike off-ramp (SR 795)  11/29/2018 I-475 at I-75 The following countermeasures were established:  Drive within the posted speed limit  Drive for weather conditions  Obey all traffic laws  Remain with your vehicle when disabled on the interstate. Call #677 or 911 for assistance

Drowsy driving as dangerous as drunk driving

From SAFE COMMUNITIES OF WOOD COUNTY Safe Communities of Wood County wants to remind you that driving drowsy can be as deadly as driving drunk. As the darkness of winter season continues into the start of 2019, Safe Communities wants to remind you it’s essential to make sure you are always aware and alert while driving. Drowsy driving can be deadly so: Take a Break. Drive Awake. Everyone is vulnerable to the stress of life and lack of sleep. Unfortunately, drowsy driving is far too prevalent and is estimated to contribute to as many of 1.2 million collisions and 5,000 to 8,000 fatalities per year. Adults typically need 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night to be well rested and ready for the road; however, there are periods in the day, regardless of the previous night’s sleep, when people are most likely to feel sleepy: mid afternoon (2-6p.m.) and from midnight till 6 a.m. Spread the message: sleep is the only remedy for drowsy driving.The warning signs of drowsy driving include: o Having trouble keeping your eyes open and focused or the inability to keep your head up o Daydreaming or having wandering, disconnected thoughts o Drifting from your lane or off the road, or tailgating o Yawning frequently or rubbing your eyes repeatedly o Missing or not remembering signs of your intended turn or exit or how far you have traveled o Being unable to remember how far you have traveled, or landmarks you have passed If Driving While Drowsy – Take a Break. Drive Awake. • Sleep is the only remedy for drowsy driving • Rolling down the window, turning up the radio or AC, or drinking a caffeinated beverage is not enough to stave off drowsiness. • Take a break to recharge with exercise. Physical activity such as a brisk walk or moving around gives a natural boost of energy. On long trips, schedule breaks every two hours or 100 miles to stretch and move around. • Do not drive alone. Vehicles in which the driver is accompanied by a passenger are nearly 5o percent less likely to be involved in a drowsy-driving-related crash.

Driving New Year’s revelers home helps keep party-goers safe

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News At the exact moment many people in Bowling Green were toasting in the new year, volunteers were driving home a young woman too drunk to stand on her own. Donna Foster spotted the woman downtown being propped up by her friends. So Dennis Gaster swung the van around to go back to offer help. The woman was too wasted to know what was happening. But her two friends jumped at the chance to get a free ride home to their apartment complex on Napoleon Road. “You will really take us home for free,” one of her friends asked. “You guys are awesome.” The three piled into the van, and a plastic garbage bag was pulled out in case the one woman became sick again. Foster chatted with the passengers – without a hint of judgment. “You sweet angel,” she said to the drunk woman. Foster and Gaster offered to take the group to the hospital rather than to their apartment, but they declined. Foster cautioned the friends to not leave their intoxicated roommate alone – and they agreed. This New Year’s Eve was the sixth time for Foster, and the first for Gaster, to help with the Safe Communities program that offers free rides to people who shouldn’t be driving home themselves. “It’s nice to take them home and know that they’re safe,” Foster said as she and Gaster headed to their next call. The calls were coming in quickly after midnight – one person at Domino’s Pizza, three behind Jimmy John’s, four at Taco Bell, two at a laundromat, two behind the library, and another four at Quarter’s Bar. By the end of the night – around 4 a.m. – the volunteers in van had taken home 83 partiers. The heaviest requests for rides came between 2 and 3 a.m. The only calls rejected are for people who want to be transported from one party or bar to another. “Sometimes they want us to take them to a party, but we can’t do that,” Foster said. “We have to get them home safe.” From their Napoleon Road drop, Foster and Gaster were called to a party on Hunter Court, over in the “bird streets” neighborhood. There they picked up a young couple – the girl with a sparkly New Year’s Eve tiara on her head, and the boy carrying a crockpot. “Hi…

Safe Communities warns about holiday driving dangers

From SAFE COMMUNITIES OF WOOD COUNTY Safe Communities of Wood County announced today that there have been 13 fatal crashes in Wood County, compared to the 13 last year at this time. This is a number that is completely preventable. *** This holiday season, Safe Communities is teaming up with U.S Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to remind all drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving. With the holiday festivities and extra office parties taking place, it’s essential to plan a sober ride home before ever leaving for the event. This holiday, as you head out for a night of merrymaking, remember: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.The holidays should be a time for celebrations and make memories, not a time of nightmares for families. Unfortunately, alcohol at many holiday events contributes to the number of impaired drivers on our roadways. Spread the message: Even one drink is one drink too many. If you feel buzzed, you are already drunk.Remember these tips to avoid an OVI and keep our roads safe: Remember it is never okay to drive drunk. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage. Plan Ahead! You know whether you’ll attend a party. If you plan to drink, plan for a sober driver to take you home. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take your role seriously – Your friends are relying on you! Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices, and Apple’s iTunesStore for iOS devices. SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up. Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.