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Region Transportation Safety Newsletter, March 2014
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Motor Vehicle Crashes Still a Leading Cause of Death among Children


A recent CDC study shows that child passenger deaths have decreased 43 percent from 2002 to 2011. However, the report found that one in three children who died in crashes was not buckled up. Securing your child in the right type of safety seat or booster seat dramatically reduces their risk of injury in a crash. Be a role model for your child and buckle up every single time – even on short trips. And make sure it fits – use child safety seats or booster seats that fit your child correctly with help from a Child Passenger Safety TechnicianRead the CDC report 

 

 
Oregon is a Leader in Safety Belt Use


Oregon may be one of the top states in the nation for safety belt use, but there are still people who do not wear their safety belt. Safety advocates have been doing safety belt outreach for quite a long while and we are seeing results. Remember this ad campaign from back in the day? "You could learn a lot from a dummy. Buckle your safety belt."


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Reducing Pedestrian Crashes


In an effort to reduce pedestrian crashes, ODOT is helping to step up enforcement and educate Oregonians about pedestrian laws. In these enforcement operations, a decoy police officer attempts to cross a street at an intersection in a marked or unmarked crosswalk. If passing motorists fail to stop and yield for the pedestrian, they are issued a warning or a citation. The operation includes a media outreach component from the agencies with the purpose of raising awareness - not simply writing citations. Community response from citizens and public officials has been overwhelmingly positive in the past during these events.

 

ODOT will also provide a training to law enforcement officers on March 10 (training is available to all police agencies) on setting up the enforcement, review of current laws, diversion, and media outreach strategies. Officers are asked to measure adequate safe stopping distance, wear visible clothing, conduct the operation during daylight hours and in good weather, and move into the crosswalk with clear intent to proceed for their own safety.

The following police agencies recently received a small grant to conduct between one and four pedestrian safety events:
Amity, Astoria, Aumsville, Beaverton, Coquille, Enterprise, Florence, Forest Grove, Grants Pass, Gresham, Hillsboro, Hubbard, Independence, Jackson County, Junction City, Lake Oswego, Lincoln City, Medford, Multnomah County, Newberg-Dundee, Nyssa, Oregon City, Portland, Prineville, Rockaway Beach, Roseburg, Salem, Stayton, Sweet Home, Tigard, Umatilla, West Linn, and Yamhill.

 

 
Jurisdictionally Blind Safety


In recent years, ODOT has used federal funding for safety improvements primarily on state highways. “Jurisdictionally blind” refers to the approach of considering the most important safety needs on all roads in Oregon, regardless of the jurisdiction. While ODOT will still manage the safety improvement program, it intends to become jurisdictionally blind so that the most important safety needs in Oregon are addressed, regardless of whether it is on a state highway, a city or county road, or other public road.

The ODOT Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) has the following goals:

  • Reduce fatalities and serious injury collisions throughout Oregon.
  • Consider the most beneficial safety needs on all roads in Oregon, regardless of the jurisdiction (i.e., jurisdictionally blind).
  • Use a systemic, data-driven approach to identify collision trends and effective countermeasures along a roadway corridor or throughout a larger geographic area, rather than just at hot spot locations.
  • Prior to the fully jurisdictionally blind approach being ready in 2017, implement a Transitional Process that allots a total of $16 million for systemic safety improvements on local jurisdictional roadways identified and prioritized by each ODOT region.

Traditionally, ODOT has applied safety funds to high crash locations (hot spots) throughout the state. This approach has provided benefits to improving the safety of the transportation system. Recently, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has publicized the use of systemic safety measures that reduce or eliminate risks to users. Rather than focusing on specific locations (hot spots), a systemic approach takes a broader evaluation across an entire roadway or transportation network. A systemic approach acknowledges crash history is not always sufficient to determine what safety improvements to implement, particularly on low volume local and rural roadways.

The first projects under this program during the transition process will begin in Spring 2014. As the next Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) cycle (2017-2020) approaches this year, ODOT will work collaboratively with local jurisdictions (cities, counties, MPO’s and tribes) to develop a jurisdictionally blind approach to
safety. 

 

 
Designate a Sober Driver this St. Patrick’s Day


St. Patrick’s Day is supposed to be a time to celebrate Irish heritage and gather with friends, but it can quickly end in tragedy due to impaired driving. If you plan on drinking, don’t rely on luck to keep you safe or to keep you out of trouble. Be responsible and take appropriate precautions. Impaired driving remains one of America’s deadliest problems. In 2012, 336 people in Oregon were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Out of that number 123 people were killed in traffic crashes where alcohol was involved. Drive sober. Save lives.

 

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