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Region Transportation Safety Newsletter, February 2014
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Driver Education: It Saves Lives, Reduces Crashes


The first six months after obtaining a driver license tend to be the most dangerous for teenage drivers across the nation, but Oregon's graduated driver licensing program has improved safety since it started in 2000. Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for 15- to 20-year-olds. A national study shows teens who take formal driver training in Oregon have much lower crash rates. Yet only about a third of eligible Oregonians actually sign up for driving classes, saying they don't have the time, money or easy access to them. Oregon teens who took an approved ODOT driver education course have fewer crashes, traffic convictions and suspensions.

Find an ODOT-approved driver education course near you.

 

 
Oregon Ranks High on Annual Report Card


Safety advocates graded each state on the 15 basic traffic safety laws that reduce injury and death and Oregon was ranked near the top of the list. Oregon had enacted 12 of the 15 laws, excluding a minimum age 16 for a learner’s permit, nighttime driving provision, and age 18 for unrestricted license for teen drivers. Some of the optimal laws that helped earn Oregon a high safety rating include primary enforcement of safety belts, all-rider motorcycle helmet law, booster seats, graduated driver licensing, impaired driving, and text messaging restriction. Full report (PDF 2MB)

 

 
Bicycle Safety Education for Children from a Developmental and Learning Perspective


NHTSA recently published a report (January 2014) that studies the factors associated with bicycle crashes, the types of bicycle education programs, and it explores how children’s learning and development correlate with bicycle riding skills. Safely riding a bicycle involves developing both motor and cognitive skills, such as maintaining balance and control, stopping and starting at intersections, riding in a straight line while signaling, searching for potential hazards, and reacting quickly in emergency situations. Full report (PDF 1MB)

 

 
February Campaign Runs February 10-23 for “Click It or Ticket”


The first of three annual traffic enforcement “blitzes” dedicated to proper safety belt and child restraint use will run from February 10-23. A statewide observation survey in June 2013 found 98 percent of Oregon’s motoring public using safety belts, making Oregon one of the two highest belt use states in our country. However, 61 people in Oregon last year lost their lives where they were not wearing a safety belt as a motor vehicle occupant. When you think about a father or son, mother or sister lost this way, you understand why the message “buckle up every time” is continually emphasized. Proper belt use is the single most effective way to protect motor vehicle occupants from crash injury or death.

 

 
Lives Saved in 2012 by Restraint Use and Minimum Drinking Age Laws


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently published a report on safety impacts of restraint use and minimum drinking age laws. In 2012, the use of safety belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 12,174 lives nationally. Safety belts have saved nearly 63,000 lives during the 5-year-period from 2008 to 2012. In addition, 525 lives were saved by 21-year-old-minimum-drinking-age laws. Full report (PDF 740KB)

 

 
Reduce the Speed, Prevent the Injury


This road safety ad from New Zealand is incredibly powerful regarding the implications of speeding.  “Other people make mistakes. Slow down.” Click on the image below to play the video.

 

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Keep Your Distance. It's the Law.


With more cars on the road and more people in a hurry, tailgating is a big problem. Rear-end crashes are very common and the main cause is people following too closely. Tailgating drivers are unable to stop before hitting the vehicle in front of them. The solution is to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. This gives you a better view of the road, and the other traffic, so that you can anticipate problems and have more time to react. The police in Oregon are searching out tailgaters using new, improved laser technology. The hunt is on, because tailgating is a leading cause of traffic crashes in Oregon. 

 

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