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OSP urges motorists to prepare, drive safely over holiday


During the Labor Day weekend, Oregon State Police will be increasing patrols on state highways to ensure travelers in Oregon have safer travels.

Despite those efforts, the public is asked to prepare for their travels and to help enforcement efforts if they spot dangerous driving (any hazardous driving that puts others at risk: excessive speeding, impaired driving, etc).

According to OSP Superintendent Travis Hampton, “Too many lives are lost on our highways, and we want to ensure all Oregonians and visitors safely reach their destinations this weekend.”

According to AAA Oregon, there will be a large percentage of travelers on the roadways,

“Labor Day is seen as the final chance for a long weekend getaway before the summer comes to an end and generally sees the lowest travel volume of the three major summer holiday weekends,” Hampton said.

“Over the last decade, travel over the Labor Day holiday weekend has remained relatively stable, with approximately 35 million Americans traveling 50 miles or more from home each year.”

To add further traffic on the highways, the Oregon Ducks are playing in Eugene on Saturday, which will lead to additional traffic congestion.

In 2015 and 2016, Oregon has seen a rise in fatal traffic crashes. OSP will continue its pledge in transportation safety by focusing on five major categories of driving behaviors that contribute to fatal or serious injury crashes. These categories are speed, occupant safety, lane usage, impaired driving and distracted driving.

OSP is also urging motorists to plan their travels:

*Expect heavy traffic volumes. Take extra time to reach your destination

*Visit ODOT’s TripCheck page

*Be prepared in the event you become stuck during your travels- Carry water, food, and blankets in the event you are stuck in your vehicle during your trip

*Get a designated driver (plan ahead) if you plan on consuming intoxicating substances.

*Put the distractions away. Pull over to use that handheld electronic device, ask as passenger to help or wait to arrive at your destination to use them.

*Watch your speed; often speeding will not get you to your destination any faster. You will fatigue faster, burn more fuel, and create a more hazardous environment on the highway.

*Be extra vigilant in highway work zones. Even when workers are not present, all work zone speed limits still apply and fines double,” Hampton said. “Inactive work zones still have equipment, detours, and incomplete changes in the roadway, so drivers need to slow down and be alert.

*Get rested before you travel. 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.

*Wear your safety belt. Ensure your passengers and children are properly restrained too. We see too many crashes were people would have walked away with minor in any injuries,” the OSP superintendent added

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