Oregon Department of Transportation’s Safety Month concludes Memorial Day weekend with extra enforcement in an effort to help save lives by cracking down on those making dangerous driving decisions.
The increased period begins Friday evening, May 25 and runs through Monday, May 28. The focus, according to ODOT, will be to make sure child passengers are buckled up; ensuring traffic moves over for emergency vehicles; and getting impaired drivers off the road.
In 2011’s Memorial Day period, four people died in separate crashes in Oregon. Since 1970, 259 people died in traffic crashes during the ‘summer-kickoff’ holiday period. More than half of those deaths were the result of alcohol-involved crashes, ODOT said. In the last decade-plus, 14 of those that died were unbelted.
“Day or night, drivers are putting themselves and others at risk when they drive without any consideration for safety,” said Richard Evans, a police spokesman. “Those who choose not to drive safely or don’t buckle up every time shouldn’t be surprised if police pull them over and take enforcement action.”
In 2010, a remarkable 70 people who died in car crashes were unrestrained; during that same time, a survey showed 40 percent of children aged 5-8 were not riding in booster seats, as required by law.
Over the five previous Memorial Day weekends, troopers arrested over 400 DUII drivers, including 88 during last year’s 78-hour period.