WINTERSVILLE - Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Joseph Fetty knew Cadiz Township in Harrison County had a speeding problem when more than half of the speed-related crashes in the county occurred in that township.
Fetty got a chance to use the new speed trailer purchased by the patrol's Cambridge District and it showed there were a lot of speeders driving on U.S. Route 22. The speed trailer records the speed of every vehicle that goes by.
Fetty said the speed trailer was placed for four days in April on Route 22, just west of the state Route 151 exit, where the four lanes narrows to two lanes. The patrol then conducted four days of heavy enforcement, followed by four more days of the speed trailer gathering information.
The speed trailer has a pop up display showing the speed a vehicle is traveling.
Fetty said there has been a large increase in traffic in Harrison County because of the oil and gas industry.
"U.S. Route 22 is the main thoroughfare with a number of incidents," he said.
Data from the speed trailer were provided to Fetty so he could analyze the results and determine if the heavy enforcement had an impact on the number of speeders and the rate the drivers were traveling.
The speed trailer logged 26,296 vehicles in four days prior to the heavy enforcement and 19,752 vehicles after the enforcement effort.
Fetty said the speed limit at the location of the trailer is 55 mph.
Fetty said 43 percent of the drivers were traveling between 51-55 mph prior to the enforcement. The number dropped to 39 percent between 51-55 mph after the enforcement.
The patrol reported 33 percent were traveling 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit prior to the enforcement. The number dropped to 29 percent in the post enforcement.
Fetty said there were 186 drivers traveling at speeds of 66-65 mph in the pre-enforcement and 184 after the enforcement. There were 64 drivers traveling at speeds in excess of 71 mph in the pre-enforcement and 55 in the post enforcement.
The patrol in the four-day enforcement effort stopped 63 vehicles and issued 49 speeding tickets, Fetty said.
"We made a dent in the enforcement but we were only there for four days. To make a substantial impact, we need to do it week after week. Harrison County is an area we need to pay more attention to because of the increased truck traffic and oversized loads," Fetty said.
Fetty said most crashes, according to highway patrol statistics, occur at speeds 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit. He said the number of people driving at speeds in excess of 71 mph poses a danger.
The patrol had its commercial vehicle enforcement and aviation divisions do an enforcement action throughout Harrison County just prior to the placement of the speed trailer.
Fetty said traffic violations are up 28 percent so far this year at the Steubenville post, covering Jefferson and Harrison counties, compared to 2013. He said operating a motor vehicle under the influence arrests are set to double this year compared to last year. Fetty said there were 190 OVI arrests in 2013, compared to 172 this year to date. Drug arrest and weapons possession charges this year also are set to exceed 2013 numbers.
Fetty said there are plans to use the speed trailer in the future in Jefferson County.