Monday, December 28, 2009

News Release from: Oregon State Police

This news release from the Oregon State Police reminds us to be very careful during holidays and bad weather. One very bad thing to do is to pass other cars in slush and snow - you might be able to go faster but by passing them, you make them blind as all the snow and slush flies up on their windows. Be patient!!

Posted: December 28th, 2009 10:20 AM
(Note: This reported fatality statistic may change if other information is reported later by Oregon law enforcement agencies. This year's Christmas Holiday reporting period started 6:00 p.m., December 23, and concluded at 11:59 p.m., December 27. This is the confirmed reported number at this time for the 102-hour holiday period.)
Five people were killed in 5 separate fatal traffic crashes on Oregon roads during the second of three December special enforcement periods for law enforcement agencies nationwide. Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers also reported an increase in DUII arrests during this holiday period as part of the nationwide crackdown on impaired driving, "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest." that started December 16th and runs through the New Year's weekend.
In the past decade in Oregon, more than 2,000 individuals were killed and over 26,000 people injured by drinking and drugged drivers. Nationally in 2008, 11,773 people died in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
Preliminary information provided by ODOT's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) indicates 5 people died on Oregon roads during the 102-hour period Christmas Holiday period. Between 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 23, and 11:59 p.m., Sunday, December 27, the following confirmed fatal crashes were reported:
* On December 24, 2009 at approximately 9:45 a.m. a 48-year old Bakersfield, California man died in a single vehicle crash on Highway 42 near milepost 43 in Coos County. Icy road conditions were a contributing factor. Oregon State Police (OSP) is the lead investigating agency.
* On December 24, 2009 at approximately 10:30 a.m. a 52-year old Salem man died in a two-vehicle crash on Highway 22 near milepost 76. Icy road conditions were a contributing factor. OSP is the lead investigating agency.
* On December 26, 2009 at approximately 9:36 a.m. a 74-year old Coos Bay woman died in a three-vehicle crash on Highway 42 near milepost 43 in Coos County. This was the second fatal traffic crash in this area over the holiday period. Icy road conditions were a contributing factor. OSP in the lead investigating agency.
* On December 26, 2009 at approximately 10:20 a.m. a 81-year old Lebanon man was critically injured when his vehicle struck a fallen tree on Highway 211 south of Estacada. The man died the next morning from his injuries. OSP is the lead investigating agency.
* On December 26, 2009 at approximately 5:57 p.m. an adult male died after he was struck by a vehicle trying to cross Bend Parkway near Badger Road. Bend Police Department is the lead investigating agency.
During last year's Christmas Holiday period, six people were killed in 6 separate fatal traffic crashes. According to FARS, during the last ten years an average of four people died each year over this holiday period.
OSP troopers arrested 60 DUII drivers, up from 50 reported DUII arrests during the 2008 Christmas Holiday period. OSP offices reporting 3 or more DUII arrests were:
* Salem Area Command – 8 DUII arrests
* Portland Area Command – 7 DUII arrests
* Grants Pass Work Site – 6 DUII arrests
* Coos Bay Area Command – 6 DUII arrests
* Klamath Falls Area Command – 4 DUII arrests
* Central Point Area Command – 3 DUII arrests
OSP troopers also reported responding to over 150 traffic crashes and assisted nearly 300 disabled motorists.
Arrest statistics for county and city agencies were not available. Any questions related to their statistics should be directed to those respective agencies.
State, county and city law enforcement agencies are planning enhanced enforcement efforts during the New Year's Holiday period (6:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 30th, through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, January 3rd, 2010). During last year's 102-hour New Year's holiday period, seven people were killed in 5 separate Oregon traffic crashes. According to FARS statistics, during the last ten years over this holiday period an average of more than 5 traffic deaths have occurred. OSP troopers reported more than 50 DUII arrests over last year's New Year's holiday period.
OSP, OSSA, OACP and ODOT urge holiday travelers to remember these tips:
* Remember cooler temperatures are leading to icy roadway conditions in many areas. Expect the unexpected and be alert for quick changes in road conditions, especially watching for ice on bridges and in shaded areas.
* Don't drink and drive ("Buzzed driving is drunk driving"), and don't ride with anyone who has had too much to drink.
* Never use illegal drugs.
* Volunteer to be a designated driver.
* If someone who's been drinking insists on driving, take his/her keys.
* If hosting a gathering, provide non-alcoholic beverages.
* Use public transit or local drive-home services provided by taxis and other companies.
* Always use safety restraints.
* Avoid travel after midnight, especially on weekends or holidays.
* Drive alert and defensively at all times.
* Report any suspected impaired driving by calling 1-800-24DRUNK (800-243-7865) or 9-1-1.
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Contact Info: Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247
Pager: (503) 323-3195

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