Tuesday, January 12, 2010

News release from Oregon State Police

Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are planning a special enforcement effort Wednesday to educate and increase compliance along Interstate 5 in Marion County. The enhanced enforcement effort will focus on traffic laws, including the new cell phone law and the "Move Over" law.
On January 13, 2010 OSP troopers from the Salem Area Command office will focus enforcement efforts on Interstate 5 between milepost 241 (Linn/Marion County Line) and milepost 280 (Marion/Clackamas County Line). The increased enforcement will start at 6:00 a.m. and continue to midnight.
"Our goals are highway safety, prevent crashes and to continue to educate people through highly visible enforcement of our laws," said OSP Sergeant Derek Bischoff.
Bischoff noted the "Move Over" law has been in effect for six years and recently was changed to include two more clarifications:

* The original law specified law enforcement, fire and ambulance vehicles displaying required warning lights. Drivers must now also move over or slow down when roadside assistance or tow vehicles are providing help along our highways.

* "Slow down" means reducing speed by at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit if making a lane change is unsafe or not required.

In addition to targeting dangerous driving behavior, OSP troopers will be on the lookout for drivers operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile communication device (cell phone law). This new law is a primary offense, meaning that a police officer may stop a driver solely for using a cell phone without using a hands-free accessory or texting while driving.

Enforcement and education efforts toward the new cell phone law since January 1st have been helped by a special message on several ODOT variable message boards over Interstate 5. The message is simple: "NEW PHONE LAW – HANDS FREE ONLY – NO TEXTING".

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