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After deadly week on roads, OSP urges safe holiday travel


With at least 10 people losing their lives on state highways over the past week, Oregon State Police are urging motorists to travel safely this Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Other traffic advisories to motorists are winter travel conditions, Black Friday shopping and the Civil War Game in Corvallis.

Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend – This holiday period (Wednesday through Sunday) will see one of the highest volumes of traffic in over a decade according to AAA Oregon/Idaho. As with other holiday weekends OSP is urging motorists to plan ahead, expect heavy traffic, expect poor driving conditions with rain expected at lower elevations and snow in the mountain passes, and take your time (more traveling tips at the bottom of this release). Know the road conditions before traveling by going to

Winter travel – Those traveling in lower elevations, expect rain and wet roadways. Increase your following distances due to decreased traction on those wet roadways.

For those traveling Oregon’s mountain passes, expect snowfall and winter driving conditions. Know when traction tires are required by visiting Too often these mountain pass crashes are caused by those not using traction tires. These crashes cause delays that last hours at times. If chains are the traction device, know how to install or use them. Too often, they said, we find motorists struggling in deep snow and below-freezing conditions, attempting to put them on for the first time.

November 24th and 25 – Black Friday Shopping at the Woodburn Outlet Mall. There have been historically major traffic issues on Interstate 5 in Woodburn on Thanksgiving evening and the following Friday due to the high volume of shoppers frequenting the Woodburn Outlet Mall. There has traditionally been backed up traffic prior to the Woodburn exit. Motorists are asked to consider taking alternate routes to Woodburn.

OSP will be focusing enforcement efforts on motorists driving on the shoulder of I-5, parking on the shoulder of I-5 and any other hazardous behavior. Another particular issue has been motorists driving past the backed-up traffic and then trying to squeeze in prior to the Woodburn exit. OSP will be in the area actively enforcing traffic laws.

November 26 – Oregon State University versus University of Oregon Football Game in Corvallis at 1PM. OSP is advising motorists traveling on Interstate 5 to expect high volumes of traffic in the mid-Willamette Valley before and after the game. OSP is urging those attending the game to take your time, plan ahead and have a designated driver.

OSP is also urging motorists to plan their travels:

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

Visit ODOT’s traveler 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. 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.

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