Preliminary data show Ohio had a record-low number of traffic deaths in 2013.
The State Highway Patrol reports at least 923 people died on Ohio roads during the past year. Additional deaths are under review but have not been confirmed as traffic fatalities, making the possible total 981.
It would be the first time Ohio has had fewer than 1,000 traffic deaths since record-keeping began in 1936. The previous low was 1,016 in 2011. In 2012, Ohio had 1,122 deaths.
There’s an online registry in Ohio that identifies habitual drunk drivers but recently, there have been cases where there have been gaps in that database. Staff Lieutenant Anne Ralston of the Ohio State Highway Patrol says the agency has upgraded the registry so that it compiles up to date information automatically from already existing electronic records.
“Prior to the revamp of the system, we only had 348 people who were habitual offenders who were being captured on the registry. Now after the revamp, we have over 5300 habitual offenders on the registry.”
Auto club AAA estimates more than 3.5 million Ohioans will travel at least 50 miles from home during the year-end holiday period running from Saturday through New Year's Day.
That number is up slightly from last year. AAA says travel during this holiday season has increased with economic improvements in recent years. Average gas prices now are expected to remain lower during the holidays than they were a year ago.
The state says it’s created a new system to connect Ohioans to Medicaid benefits, faster. This is just another step in the state’s project to better coordinate public assistance programs.
The new system received more than 1,100 applications in its first day of operation. This was also the first time people under the expanded Medicaid program could sign-up online. The digital application service replaces the old system which had been in place for 32 years.