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Ohio State Highway Patrol cracking down on seat belt use In Columbiana County

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LISBON, Ohio - The Ohio State Highway Patrol is ready to get tough on seat belt violations in Columbiana County.

So far in 2014, eight people have died in seven crashes and OSP says no seat belts were in use.

The car involved in the county's most recent fatal crash is still in custody of the state patrol.

A 25-year old woman was ejected from the vehicle and killed when it struck a ditch and rolled over near Salem. The victim was not wearing a seat belt.

The commander of the Lisbon Patrol Post, Lt. Joe Dragovich says that's been a sad statistic of late. "I have to count back over 27 dead bodies before I get to somebody who was buckled up and died in a crash. That's taking us all the way back to February of 2012," Dragovich said.

In the most recent crash, Dragovich says even though the car rolled more than once, the interior was intact and survivable had the victim been restrained and not ejected from the vehicle.

He shows photographs of a similar roll over crash in which the occupant was wearing a seat belt and survived.

And the commander says don't think an air bag is all you need. "The air bag works in a certain way with the seat belt. The seat belt keeps you in place, keeps you from being ejected," Dragovich said.

Buckling up is the law in Ohio, but it is a secondary offense. Even so, the Lisbon Post is getting some outside help to drive the message home.

"Our Cambridge district has organized a special enforcement squad to come up and help us over a two week period," Dragovich said.

The crackdown begins on Tuesday, and troopers will be looking for any moving violations to enforce the seat belt law.

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