CLEVELAND (WJW) – Local and state law enforcement are stepping up patrols for the long Fourth of July weekend.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol has announced a zero-tolerance policy for drivers who are under the influence, speeding, or aggressive.


A spokesperson said OSHP will be “highly visible” and “tough on dangerous drivers,” both in the air and on the ground, from Wednesday, July 3, through Sunday, July 7 at 11:59 p.m.

“We saw a lot of officers today, the State Patrol actually, which is good,” said Clarice Edwards, who drove through Ohio with her family from Omaha.

Independence Day has become a deadly holiday in the state, according to OSHP, with 12 people killed last year and 50 lives lost in the past three years in car crashes. Several motorcyclists and pedestrians have also been killed.

“People seem to be driving more aggressively,” said Westlake Police Capt. Gerry Vogel.

Their department and many others are also expanding their patrols.

“We will be adding extra patrols to watch for aggressive driving, speeding and drunk driving. It’s so dangerous to drink and drive now and it’s so easy to get a ride. There are no more excuses for drunk driving,” said Capt. Vogel.

In recent weeks, the number of cases of wild driving has increased.

State troopers have posted photos of incredibly dangerous speeds of 85 to 116 mph recorded in Cuyahoga County.

“The roads are horrible,” said Dave Broadhurst of Akron, who drives more than 30 minutes to work every day. “It’s horrible! People are speeding around you and cutting you off.”

Another traveler from Wisconsin told FOX 8 he saw similar driving behavior on Wednesday.

“They move from one side to the other,” Melissa Petersen said.

But she also saw that many officers arrested people.

“There is police presence, and that is very nice, very nice,” she said.

Officers are encouraging people to call 677 to report reckless and drunk drivers, stranded motorists and drug activity.

“Limit distractions and make sure you act responsibly,” said Captain Vogel.