23 Dec Jonathan Cartu Reports: Slow down and pay attention in traffic | News, Sports, Jobs
NILES — With only a few days left to get Christmas gifts, traffic around the Eastwood Mall is getting heavy.
With the increase in traffic can come an increase in traffic accidents.
Usually starting Black Friday, traffic in the area becomes difficult to maneuver. Niles police Chief Jay Holland said since Nov. 27, 31 crashes have been reported in the city, with 13 happening on the roads around the mall. Minor accidents on the mall’s property are handled by mall security.
To help combat the traffic and the difficulties getting to accidents, Holland has officers stationed in that specific area from Black Friday until Christmas Eve during business hours. This year, Holland said the volume of traffic has been lower because of the pandemic.
In order to avoid crashes, Holland said it’s imperative to be alert.
“Don’t be in a hurry,” Holland said. “Take your time, pay attention, drive carefully and be aware of your surroundings at all times.”
Also around this time of year, especially around the mall, thefts from vehicles are on the rise.
“As for thefts, don’t leave valuables in your car in plain view and easily accessible. These thefts are spontaneous and crimes of opportunity,” Holland said. “If you continue to shop and want to put items in your car, lock them in the trunk.”
As for the Southern Park Mall in Boardman, General Manager Brian Gabbert said there are a few things you can do to keep safe during the shopping season. He echoed Holland by advising putting bags in the trunk, but to keep safe remember E.L.F.S. — Enter the car, Lock the doors, Fasten seat belts and Scram.