OTE - Oregon Travel Experience

New Year’s caution advised

Posted on: December 28th, 2014 by Madeline MacGregor in News & Press | No Comments

15drivesoberNew Year’s Eve and Day will officially end the 2014 holiday travel season and Oregon Travel Experience (OTE) and Oregon State Police (OSP) encourage you to exercise extreme caution on our roadways.

In an effort to ensure public safety, OSP and local law enforcement partners will once again participate in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.

Although we tend to think of New Year’s Eve as prime time for a champagne celebration, a high percentage of motor vehicle accidents actually take place on New Year’s Day. During the 2013 Drive Sober campaign, OSP troopers reported that out of the 29 DUII arrests during the 30-hour reporting period, 22 occurred on January 1st.

OSP will continue to use the Drive Sober campaign to help save lives.

“We are encouraged by the decrease in fatalities during the 2013 New Year’s holiday period and we plan to keep up the momentum,” said OSP Major Travis Hampton. “We want folks to enjoy this time of celebration with friends and family and to keep it enjoyable by making safe and sober driving a priority.”

In anticipation of the celebration, local Oregon businesses are doing their part to keep Oregonians safe. For example, Portland’s public transportation system TriMet is offering free tides starting at 8:00 p.m. New Year’s Eve. Find out more information on their website: http://www.trimet.org/alerts/newyear.htm. And, in Medford, Budget Cab LLC will offer free rides within a five-mile downtown radius from 5:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. Find out more on their website: http://www.budgetcabmedford.com/ For similar offers in your area, check with your local city officials, media, or regional taxi company.

At OTE, we encourage all holiday travelers to refresh (and perhaps grab a few hours sleep) at one of our managed highway safety rest areas. Volunteers from local charities will be on hand at several locations along I-5 and I-84 to serve free coffee. Check times and locations on our website.

Other tips for safe travel during this time include:

  • Use a Designated Driver If you haven’t worked out who will drive if you’re going to drink; now is the time!
  • Couch surfer Couches or hotel rooms make great landing pads and are far more comfortable than a jail bed.
  • Be a good host Provide tasty non-alcoholic beverages for the designated driver of the group—your driver will be sure to appreciate it.
  • Reach out for help If you’ve been drinking you know you shouldn’t risk even a short drive home. Call a cab, phone a friend, or send for backup on Twitter—it may mean the difference in someone else arriving home alive.
  • Report inebriated drivers If you do see a drinker behind the wheel call and report it by telephoning 9-1-1 or Oregon State Patrol at 1-800-24DRUNK (800-243-7865).

From all of us at OTE, have a safe and happy New Year!

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