News Release from: Oregon State Police
Posted: May 23rd, 2011 2:26 PM
Photo/sound file: http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2011-05/1002/44804/DN_hi.jpg (English "Click It or Ticket") Photo/sound file: http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2011-05/1002/44804/DN_sp_hi.jpg (Spanish "Click It or Ticket")
Unbuckled vehicle occupants, including child passengers, along with impaired and other dangerous drivers will be the focus of increased enforcement efforts during the 2011 Memorial Day holiday weekend. Oregon State Police (OSP) and other law enforcement agencies statewide and nationally will be working overtime, putting increased patrols on the road in an effort to prevent the loss of hundreds of lives in traffic crashes during the extended holiday weekend.
Falling within the national "Click It or Ticket" campaign, May 23 - June 5, increased enforcement efforts nationally and in Oregon during the Memorial Day holiday period begins at 6:00 p.m., Friday, May 27, and end at 11:59 p.m., Monday, May 30.
ODOT's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reports six people died in six separate traffic crashes in Oregon during the 2010 Memorial Day holiday period, May 28 - 31. Since 1970, nearly 260 people have died in Oregon traffic crashes during this holiday period. Over the last 25 years, approximately 54 percent of these fatalities were the result of alcohol-involved crashes.
OSP Superintendent Chris Brown urges everyone traveling this holiday weekend to buckle up and have a rested, alert, and sober driver operating every vehicle.
"Speeding and driver impairment are factors most often leading to serious crashes so do your part by driving safe and sober and properly using your safety restraints and child safety seats," said Brown.
During the previous four Memorial Day holiday weekends, OSP troopers arrested over 320 DUII drivers, including 73 DUII arrests during last year's 102-hour holiday period. OSP's stepped-up enforcement efforts will be in conjunction with those by other law enforcement agencies in Oregon and around the country as part of Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort).
Carla Levinski, ODOT's Occupant Protection Program Manager, noted that alcohol and lack of safety belt use can be a lethal mix.
"Oregon crash data shows that almost half of our state's unbuckled fatalities are persons having measurable blood alcohol content," Levinski said. In addition, recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research suggests that most of Oregon's unbuckled fatalities occur on weekday afternoons and between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on weekends.
"Even though we rank third nationally in safety belt use, at 97 percent, we still have people ignoring the law, so Oregon police officers will be looking for these violators around the clock," said Levinski.
More information about the "Click It or Ticket" campaign is available on ODOT's website at www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TS/safetybelts.shtml.
Oregon State Police, Oregon State Sheriff's Association, Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, and Oregon Department of Transportation offer the following safety reminders for holiday travel:
* 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 TripCheck.com or calling 5-1-1.
* 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 check your mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes.
* Always use safety restraints and child safety seats correctly (see www.childsafetyseat.org for free safety seat clinics and proper buckling tips)
* Don't drink and drive.
* 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.
The National Safety Council estimates over 400 people may die and around 39,000 other will be injured in traffic crashes during this holiday period. During the last six most recent Memorial Day holiday periods the average number of traffic fatalities was 12 percent higher than similar non-holiday weekends.
Everyone plays an important part in keeping our highways and city streets safe. Immediately report aggressive, dangerous, and intoxicated drivers to the Oregon State Police at 1-800-24DRUNK (1-800-243-7865) or call 9-1-1.