The Portage County Health District has received the 2019 Portage County Safe Communities grant

Safe Communities is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through the Ohio Department of Public Safety. The grant concept is data-driven, and funding is based on a three-year average of fatal crashes.

Safe Communities is designed for comprehensive traffic safety injury prevention at the local level. The goal is to reduce preventable crashes through increased public awareness of seat belt usage, distracted driving, and impaired driving.

Portage County Safe Communities Coalition provides input to promote awareness and plans activities to accomplish the grant goals. The coalition is composed of volunteers, state and county agencies, local businesses, safety advocates, and first responders.

During the grant year, the coalition is required to conduct a minimum of 12 events, plus the "Click it or Ticket" and "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign kickoffs. Coalition meetings are open to the public and conducted the first Monday of every month. Meetings are held at 705 Oakwood St., Ravenna and start at 9:30 a.m.

The grant also requires the Fatal Crash Data Review Board to meet quarterly to review all fatal crash reports to identify local crash trends and recommend countermeasures. The Board has representation from: Portage County Prosecutor, Engineer, and Coroner’s Offices, Ohio Department of Transportation, UH Portage Medical Center, Gateway Towing, law enforcement, and public health.

For more information regarding activities or meetings, contact Lynette Blasiman, Safe Communities Project Director, Portage County Health District, at 330-296-9919. ext. 118.