Some Brookfield residents have perceived that the Ohio Highway Patrol has spent a lot of time in the township this year, and Brookfield Police Chief Dan Faustino surmised a rationale for the patrol’s increased enforcement: three fatal crashes in the past year.
Yet patrol Sgt. Timothy Grimm said the patrol has not made a conscious decision to do more enforcement in Brookfield specifically. The patrol has made an effort to be more present in “outlying townships” in general, he said.
Grimm noted that while the patrol has run an impaired driving saturation patrol and a seat belt check patrol this year in Brookfield, those efforts in no way singled out Brookfield, he said.
A patrol vehicle has been a common sight on Warren Sharon Road, and Grimm said that that road has been chosen because of the high traffic volume between Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Whatever the case is, Faustino said he appreciates the patrol’s efforts.
“I won’t disagree or try to put that off for anything,” Faustino told the trustees March 23. “We appreciate the help.”
Faustino added that his department will be stepping up its traffic enforcement efforts, after last year’s efforts took a “back seat” because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brookfield has three of the top 50 “high priority location” intersections in Trumbull County, based on crash data compiled by Eastgate Regional Council of Governments: Routes 7 and 82; Route 62 and Bedford Road; and Addison Road and Brookfield Avenue, Fasutino said.
“Those are gonna be target intersections this year, as well as us targeting Warren Sharon Road, east and west,” Faustino said. “We’ll be aggressively targeting violations, because we are not gonna have another year with three fatal crashes, if we can avoid that.”
In addition to in-person enforcement activities, the department will be putting out its speed trailer, which alerts drivers to their actual speed, on roads in the township.
Trustee Ron Haun asked Faustino if he thought the 35 mph speed limit on Warren Sharon Road between the Sharon line and Obermiyer Road is reasonable, particularly for westbound drivers coming down the West Hill.
Faustino said he would not want to advocate for a change in the speed limit on the Trumbull County-maintained road. Many motorists drive above the speed limit; the higher the limit, the faster they drive, he said.
“If you move that speed up to 40 or 45, people are gonna push that, and they’re gonna be doing 48-50,” Faustino said. “When they’re hitting those speeds now, that’s a little fast because of cars backing out.”
That speed also controls traffic in Brookfield’s main commercial district, he said.