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Region Transportation Safety Newsletter, December 2013
Snow Zones Ahead

Are you prepared for inclement weather? Plan your winter Snow plowtrip to allow extra travel time. Check your vehicle's condition before you go. Pack emergency supplies in case you get stuck. Make sure you have appropriate chains or traction tires. Slow down and drive according to conditions of the road. Turn off cruise control in wet, icy or snowy weather. If weather conditions are bad, don't drive. Check out road conditions, travel information and road cameras by visiting TripCheck.com or call 511 for Oregon road conditions.

Fog Lights

Please remember that driving towards a car with both Headlightsheadlights and fog (or auxiliary) lights on can be blinding. Fog lights are designed to be used at low speeds in fog, heavy mist and snow situations where visibility is significantly reduced. Front fog lights are generally aimed and mounted low to increase the illumination directed towards the road surface. In low visibility situations, fog lights should be used like bright lights - turned off when an oncoming vehicle approaches. In normal visibility conditions, fog or auxiliary lights should be turned off.


Going Electronic to Improve Safety

Over the last nine years, Steve Vitolo, Law Enforcement and Judicial Program Manager at ODOT Transportation Safety Division, has been working with Oregon law enforcement agencies and courts to implement a state-of-the-art electronic citations and crash reporting system. The goal was to create an efficient way to capture and use citation and crash information to improve safety. This new video tells more about how this was implemented in Oregon.


Supporting Traffic Enforcement Efforts

Traffic law enforcement has proven to be very effective in raising public awareness of safety issues and to teach the community about the hazards of driving with excessive speed or while impaired. ODOT administers grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that are allocated for this specific purpose. These grants provide “seed” money for law enforcement agencies to increase traffic enforcement staff to address apparent traffic safety issues in their area that cannot be addressed with current staff levels. ODOT supports law enforcement efforts regarding a full range of traffic safety issues, with the goal to reduce injury in traffic crashes due to speeding, driving impaired, failing to use a safety belt or child seat, distracted driving, or disobeying traffic law in work zones or Safety Corridors.


Reducing Underage and Binge Drinking in Deschutes County

The Shared Future Coalition was formed to help reduce underage and binge drinking in Deschutes County. It is comprised of staff from the city, county, medical fields, prevention organizations, law enforcement, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Oregon Liquor Control Commission and it is a great example of how a community can work together to reduce injuries related to impairment.

Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) is a crime that seriously risks the safety of the driver, as well as passengers and other road users.  ODOT is committed to reducing traffic crashes associated with impaired driving.  Whether you have had one too many or are way over the limit, drunk driving is not worth causing a traffic crash, serious injury, or worse – death.

According to Julie Spackman, Community Project Coordinator at Deschutes County, “The community is part of the solution. When we work together we can make a difference. Prevention works and we need to be committed to reducing high risk drinking and taking all of our resources toward that one aim.”

Shared Future Coalition video on YouTube 
'Tis the Season to Drive Sober


During the holiday season, many adults celebrate and enjoy themselves with a couple of drinks, but even one too many drinks increases your chances of crashing while driving a motor vehicle. That is why ODOT wants everyone to put safety before the party this holiday season by assigning a sober designated driver to get them home. During December 2011, there were 760 people killed in crashes that involved drivers or motorcycle riders with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 grams per deciliter or higher in the U.S. Sacrificing your life and the life of others by driving a vehicle or riding a motorcycle after a few drinks can result in tragedy for you and your loved ones. Drive Sober. Save Lives.

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Don't wreck the holidays