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Crackdown kicks off summer driving season


In the midst of the current “Click It o r Ticket” campaign running May 19 – June 1 , Oregon State Police, county sheriffs and local police agencies are urging local and long-distance travelers to be aware of the increased enforcement efforts during the Memorial Day Holiday weekend.

Starting 6:00 p.m., Friday, May 23 , through 11:59 p.m., Monday, May 26 , Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers working with our law enforcement partners will focus enforcement efforts on encouraging vehicle occupants to buckle up; keeping impaired drivers off the road; and deterring distracted and dangerous driving behavior that affects everyone’s safety.

“Using safety restraints and child safety seats correctly, not driving distracted or fatigued, and driving sober are important issues. Whether driving in the city or a rural location, motorists should know that your OSP troopers are committed to your safety and these important interagency mobilization efforts, day and night,” said OSP Major Travis Hampton.

During the 2013 Memorial Day holiday period, ODOT’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reported seven people died in six separate traffic crashes in Oregon. In two of the six fatal crashes, an alcohol-involved driver was arrested on criminal charges.

Since 1970, more than 260 people died after being involved in crashes during the holiday period that kicks off the summer travel season. More than half occurred in alcohol-involved crashes.

According to ODOT, a statewide observation survey from June 2013 found 98 percent of Oregon’s motoring public using safety belts, making Oregon one of the two highest belt use states in the country.

Still, in 2012, 61 vehicle occupants who died in Oregon crashes were completely unbelted. Research shows that most of Oregon’s unbuckled fatalities occur from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. on the weekends, and on late weekday afternoons.

During the previous seven Memorial Day holiday weekends, OSP troopers arrested over 500 DUII drivers, including 48 DUII drivers arrested during last year’s 78-hour period.

Troopers’ stepped up enforcement effort supports Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) and the work of other law enforcement agencies in Oregon and around the country to discourage the most common causes of injury crashes – speeding and impaired drivers.

Oregon State Police, Oregon State Sheriff’s Association (OSSA), Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP), and ODOT offer the following safety reminders:

* Get rested before you are tested. Fatigued drivers are more frequent during holiday weekends because of increased travel and activity. Be patient and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
* Pay attention. An inattentive driver is a growing safety concern on our roads and an increasing factor in traffic crashes.
* Know before you go: Stay up to date on road conditions by visiting or calling 5-1-1. Don’t use your cell phone to check on this non-emergency information while driving.
* Even when workers are not present, all work zone speed limits still apply and fines double. Inactive work zones still have equipment, detours, and incomplete changes in the roadway so drivers need to slow down and be alert.
* Share the road. Don’t tailgate and be sure to check your mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes.
* Be on the lookout for bicyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable users of our roads.
* Always use safety restraints and child safety seats correctly (see for free safety seat clinics and proper buckling tips).
* Don’t drink and drive; don’t be impaired and drive. These can be deadly combinations.
* MOVE OVER if you are approaching any type of emergency vehicle, tow truck or roadside assistance vehicle which is stopped on the roadside with emergency lights activated.

OSP, OSSA, OACP and ODOT remind every traveling person – bicyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and motorists alike – that we all have individual responsibility for keeping our roads safe. Immediately report aggressive, dangerous and intoxicated drivers to 9-1-1 or call OSP at 1-800-24DRUNK (800-243-7865 ).

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