TARP to patrol areas with frequent accidents

POSTED: October 11, 2009

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LISBON - State Highway Patrol cruisers have started to pop up in areas with more frequent incidents of crashes through the Township Accident Reduction Program, or TARP.
Highway Patrol Lt. Michael Orosz, who oversees activity at the Patrol's Lisbon post, said the program targets where and when crashes are more likely to happen based on previous incidents.
"Obviously, we want to take the troopers we have and put them where the crashes are happening so we can prevent them from happening," he explained.
Of all the townships in the county in 2009, Fairfield Township has had the highest number of crash incidents. Franklin and Wayne townships have a much lower number of incidents, he noted, so he might not assign as many troopers to patrol those areas as he would place in Fairfield Township.
At one point in September, Franklin Township had seen seven crashes since the start of the year while Fairfield Township had seen 87.
Timing is also an important factor for the Patrol.
The county has had five fatal crashes so far this year, which is on track to be down from 11 in the whole of 2008 and 23 in 2007. But of those five fatal crashes, four occurred on a Thursday.
That used to be the day the Patrol had a lower number of troopers on the roadways, but Orosz noted he has shifted the low-manpower day to a day in the week with a lower number of past crashes.
Limited manpower means troopers can't be everywhere in the county at once, so another part of TARP Orosz mentioned centers on having members of the community report dangerous driving patterns. For example, if residents or motorists see the same car speeding on the same road at the same time every day, they can report it to the Lisbon post and someone from the post will get back to them if they leave a phone number or e-mail address.
"We're going to make sure that if you call us, we assign a trooper," he asserted.
Even if a trooper checks on a reported problem for several days and finds nothing wrong, he said that trooper will contact the person who made the Patrol aware of the problem.
And that doesn't just pertain to errors made by drivers.
Hazardous roadways, from ones with improperly painted lines to ones where overgrowth of vegetation causes visibility problems, are a danger to drivers. Troopers and sergeants from the Lisbon Post are assigned to check on hazardous roadways and report them to the Ohio Department of Transportation, but drivers and residents can report hazardous roadways they see to the patrol as well.
People wishing to report problems may contact the Lisbon post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol at 330-424-7783 or e-mail Orosz directly at morosz\>dps.state.oh.us.
"The public can help us to reduce crashes by letting us know things we might not be aware of," Orosz noted.