More than 36,000 Ohioans were cited last year for driving under a license suspension, a statistic that’s risen significantly in the last two years.
The citations have risen nearly 8 percent, up from 33,404 citations in 2014.
And it’s a growing problem that’s putting licensed drivers at risk, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Suspended license drivers — or drivers who never had a license to begin with — were responsible for six of the 25 fatal crashes in Cuyahoga County so far this year, according to data provided by the OSHP.
“Some people just choose to drive without a license and have no intention of trying to make their license whole again,” said Lt. Rob Gable, Post Commander of the Cleveland Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Recent News 5 investigations uncovered two motorists involved in two hit skip accidents in Cuyahoga County who were driving on a suspended license — or never had a license to at all.
On May 16, Robert Rosson, 28, turned himself into Beachwood police after he allegedly hit a child in a stroller while driving after his license was suspended for an OVI offense.
On May 11, Starlesha Lewis, 19, was indicted in a drive-by shooting after continuing to drive without a drivers license while out on bond for allegedly hitting and killing a 12-year-old boy with her car in August.
Lt. Gable said it’s a growing problem that continues to put the safety of other drivers at risk.
“There are a lot of reasons that people would justify operating a vehicle without a license and none of those reasons are legal,” he said.
So far this year, 642 drivers have been cited for suspended license violations in Cuyahoga County. In Lorain County, 506 drivers have been cited and in Summit County, 441 drivers have been cited.