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MOUNT VERNON -- The Knox County Health Department has received a $35,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s (ODPS) Ohio Traffic Safety Office (OTSO) to promote traffic safety awareness in Knox County.

This funding supports coordination of the Safe Communities Coalition. The coalition works closely with local law enforcement and other agencies to bring awareness to traffic safety issues such as impaired driving, seat belt usage, speed, motorcycle safety and teen driver safety.

Elisa Frazee, a program coordinator with the Knox County Health Department, coordinates the local Safe Communities Coalition.

“Our overall goal with the coalition is to work towards a safer Knox County. Safe drivers not only make a positive impact on themselves, but they make a positive impact on the drivers around them,” Frazee said.

So far this year, there have been seven fatal traffic deaths in Knox County. Of the seven fatalities, more than half of the crashes involved impaired drivers under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Seat belts or helmets were only worn in three of the seven fatalities this year.

“Please, make a conscious effort each day to obey the traffic laws, stay alert and make smart decisions when operating a vehicle,” Frazee said. “A large portion of our fatalities in the past few years have a correlation to lack of seat belt and helmet usage among all ages.

“The Safe Communities Coalition will put in their best efforts to determine how we can educate our community on the importance behind buckling up in vehicles and wearing a helmet while on a motorcycle.”

For more information or to get involved with the Knox County Safe Communities Coalition, contact Frazee, at the health department, 740-392-2200 ext. 2272 or efrazee@knoxhealth.com.

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