Last updated: December 24. 2013 12:11PM - 593 Views

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You could save a life this holiday season by remembering three easy numbers — 677.

If you’re on the highway and you see someone driving erratically, either because they’re impaired or may even be texting, don’t hesitate. Dialing 677 will immediately put you in contact with the closest law-enforcement agency, who may be able to avert a tragedy.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol has been busy promoting that number this holiday season and for good reason. Christmas and New Year’s are among the most deadly and dangerous times to drive. Many more people are driving on the road to visit family and attend parties, and drunken driving accidents increase.

Last year we received a cruel reminder of how tragic that combination can be.

On Dec. 23, a 2:30 a.m. head-on collision on Interstate 75 outside of Cincinnati killed Scott and Michele Barhorst, leaving their two children without parents. The Barhorst couple was driving from Tennessee to St. Marys to spend Christmas with family when their vehicle was struck by a man driving a minivan the wrong way on Interstate 75. Alcohol was a suspected factor in that crash.

No one will ever know if that tragedy could have been averted had someone alerted police by calling 677. You don’t know if the patrol could have arrived in time to stop the wrong-way driver.

But if they only had the chance to try.

People using the 677 emergency phone number can save lives. As Col. Paul Pride of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said, it effectively results in more eyes watching out for the safety of others.

— The Lima News

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