The State Highway Patrol says increased efforts to crack down on drug trafficking and other crimes are paying off with more calls from the public to its revamped hotline and greater use of its unit that follows up on tips and helps other agencies.
The #677 number replaced the old hotline a year ago. The patrol gets more than 4,000 calls per month and has begun trying to track more specifically how many come through the hotline.
Authorities say a southwest Ohio highway pileup involving at least 86 vehicles has left a 12-year-old girl dead.
The Interstate 275 crash was one of at least four pileups that snared dozens of vehicles in the state on Monday. Parts of the state saw scattered snow showers, with isolated pockets of heavier snowfall.
The girl died in the I-275 pileup near the Cincinnati suburb of Colerain Township. At least 20 injured people were taken to hospitals.
The State Highway Patrol says the number of people killed on Ohio roads rose in 2012 compared with the record low reported the previous year.
The patrol reported 1,056 confirmed traffic deaths in 962 fatal crashes during the past year. That's up from 1,015 deaths in 2011, which was the lowest total since record-keeping began in 1936.
There are also at least 45 unconfirmed cases, which include those that are under investigation and may not be ruled as traffic fatalities. That makes the potential total about 1,100 fatalities for the year.
The State Highway Patrol says it's using federal traffic safety funding to pay overtime for troopers providing an increased presence on Ohio roadways this holiday season.
The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reports that the patrol got $1.9 million in federal traffic safety funding this fall through the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services.
The patrol says the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day can be one of the most dangerous for Ohio drivers. During that period last year, more than three dozen people died in accidents that involved alcohol.