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      Port Clinton students warned about distracted driving

      Port Clinton in Ottawa County has had more than its fair share of death resulting from traffic accidents in recent years. Law enforcement attributes a significant portion of those to distracted driving---texting and talking on cell phones. The Ohio Department of Transportation brought a distracted driving simulator to Port Clinton High Schools and students like Michael Long got behind the wheel. "It gives us the chance to drive distracted, so driving and texting at the same time which is really difficult and then there are other cars pulling out in front of us," Mr. Long said.

      Sgt. Kent Davis of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office spoke to a large gathering of students gathered in the auditorium. He says law enforcement appreciates any opportunity they can get to talk to young people about the perils of distracted driving. "We can give them some examples of what we have seen through the years and highlight the importance of paying attention while they are driving instead of the cell phones and the loud music," Sgt. Davis said.

      Law enforcement has increased patrols in the areas that have been identified as problem spots such as route 53 and the Ohio Department of Transportation has allocated resources to local governments to help combat distracted driving.