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Region Transportation Safety Newsletter, May 2013

"Transportation Safety" Emphasized in Statewide Campaign


In 1913 when the Oregon Legislature created the State Highway Department, transportation safety meant Oregonians trying to share dirt roads safely with horses, pack animals, bicycles, pedestrians and the latest technology - automobiles. A lot has changed in the last 100 years. The State Highway Department is now the Oregon Department of Transportation and hybrid vehicles now travel Oregon’s 34,000 miles of paved roads. Yet some things have remained the same: Oregonians’ commitment to transportation safety and sharing the roads safely.

Throughout the month of May, there will be plenty of opportunities in communities around the state for people to demonstrate just how important safety is to them. Governor Kitzhaber has shown his support by proclaiming May as “Transportation Safety Awareness Month.” read more



Work Zone Memorial Event in Salem 
ODOT will host an event to honor people who have died while working or traveling through work zones. Join us and wear orange on May 28 at 11 a.m. on the Capitol steps and inside the east Galleria in Salem.

Slow down and respect the cone zone! Lower speeds give drivers more time to react to detours, changes and narrowed traffic lanes, as well as highway workers and equipment.

Highway work is one of the most dangerous occupations in the nation. But in fact, drivers and passengers are more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a work zone crash.

Training Improves Motorcycle Safety
As the weather improves, more and more motorcyclists will hit the roads. With that in mind, Governor Kitzhaber has proclaimed May 2013 “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month” in Oregon. Oregon is joining with motorcycle organizations and other federal, state and local highway safety and law enforcement organizations to raise awareness about motorcycle safety.
Unfortunately, 50 people lost their lives in motorcycle crashes in 2012 according to preliminary data from the Oregon Department of Transportation, up from 40 in 2011. Almost 50 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes in Oregon are single vehicle crashes, meaning another vehicle wasn’t involved in the crash. In addition, 12 percent of traffic fatalities in Oregon in 2012 were motorcyclists, yet they represent only 8 percent of drivers and only 4 percent of registered vehicles.
The hope is that as more people go through training, the number of crashes will decline. According to ODOT data, very few trained riders die in motorcycle crashes. read more 
Walk + Bike Challenge
May is Walk + Bike Challenge Month, a friendly competition aimed at encouraging more kids and families to walk and bike safely. Oregon is the national leader in overall participation in Walk + Bike events and we would like to keep the trend going! This is a statewide event for foot-powered travel. It's a fun, free effort by students to put their best foot forward in walking, biking, skateboarding, scootering, or skating to and from school through the month of May.

ODOT's Safe Routes to School website has information about how to participate in the event and you can also find curriculum information about bike and pedestrian safety in the "Education" section.
There are several walk and bike safety materials available. Check out the Do the Safety Step brochure (3.5 MB PDF) or Bicycle Safety: What Every Parent Should Know (490 KB PDF).
Be sure to celebrate Bike to School Day on May 8! To stay safe, ride bicycles on the right with traffic, use hand signals, obey traffic signs, be visible and stay alert. Wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent. Ride and walk safely!


Seatbelt Class Proves Effective for This 'High-Risk' Driver
Storyteller reporter for the Statesman Journal, Cara Pallone, became a student in the High Risk Driver diversion class at Salem Hospital and describes her experience.  This class is taught by Kelly Owen, a trauma nurse and Safe Kids Coordinator in Marion and Polk counties.  ODOT provides grant funding to Trauma Nurses Talk Tough (TNTT) for trauma care providers to give effective presentations that address bicycle safety, high-risk drivers, seat belt use, impaired driving, and speed.  These safety education programs are also delivered to kindergarten through college students in schools across the state.
We Are All Pedestrians
Pedestrian Safety Week set for May 6-12, 2013

Traffic-related fatalities each year exceed 1.2 million worldwide and vulnerable road users—pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists—account for 50% of the total. Traffic-related injuries and fatalities represent the ninth leading cause of death or injury worldwide. Left unchecked, the expected doubling of vehicles globally will make traffic-related deaths and injuries the fifth leading cause by 2030.

Significant, intentional and effective intervention is needed to slow the pace of pedestrian injuries and fatalities. In response to the risks to pedestrians worldwide, the World Health Organization has designated May 6-12 as Global Road Safety Week, focused on pedestrian safety. NETS supports this campaign and encourages all employers to participate in promoting pedestrian safety to employees, employees' families and within the communities where the employees live and work. To see the full news release, including a link to the campaign tool kit, go to: www.businesswire.com:

(Source: NETS News Release, via Business Wire, April 9, 2013)














Summer is a great time to sign your teen up for driver education
Traffic Safety Program Managers
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