During the holiday weekend, September 2-5, 2016, Oregon State Police (OSP) will increase patrols on state highways to ensure motorists in Oregon have safer travels. Despite those efforts, the public is asked to prepare for their long weekend road trips. Plan ahead where to stop and refresh. Use our rest area location page to find out more about Oregon rest areas. Reduce the risks of crashes by agreeing to set aside cell phones until you stop. Get plenty of rest before you set out, and “Know Before You Go” by checking ahead for road closures, delays, detours, and hazard alerts on TripCheck.com.
OSP is asking for the public’s help in reducing potential crashes. If you happen to spot dangerous driving (any hazardous driving that puts others at risk, such as excessive speeding, impaired driving, etc), telephone 911. According to OSP Superintendent Travis Hampton, “Too many lives are lost on our highways and we want to ensure all Oregonians and visitors safely reach their destinations this weekend.”
Labor Day is seen as the final chance for a long weekend getaway before the summer ends. And, to complicate our I-5 Willamette Valley traffic, the Oregon Ducks are playing in Eugene on Saturday (Sept 3rd), leading to additional traffic congestion.
In 2015 and 2016, Oregon has seen a rise in fatal traffic crashes. OSP will continue its pledge in transportation safety by focusing on five major categories of driving behaviors that contribute to fatal or serious injury crashes. These categories are speed, occupant safety, lane usage, impaired driving and distracted driving.
OSP urges motorists to plan their travels with the following safety tips:
- Expect heavy traffic volumes. Take extra time to reach your destination.
- Visit ODOT’s traffic notification alerts at www.tripcheck.com
- Be prepared in the event you become stuck during your travels; carry water, food, and blankets in the event you become stuck in your vehicle.
- Appoint 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. Drivers need to slow down and be alert.
- Get rested before you travel. Fatigued driving is 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. Oregon State Police see too many crashes were people would have walked away with minor injuries if they had used safety restraints.
From all of us at OTE, Happy Labor Day and drive safe. Our Salem Administrative office will be closed on Monday, September 5th in observance of the holiday. All 29 rest areas will remain open.