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Region Transportation Safety Newsletter, October 2014
Walk+Bike to School Day, October 8

Nearly 200 Oregon schools are already signed up to walk, bike, skateboard, scoot, or roll to school this year for International Walk and Bike to School Day on October 8. Whether it’s an entire community event or parents meeting at a park to walk with their kids, participating in this event shows the many benefits of walking or biking to school, such as finding a safe route, getting some exercise and just having fun! For more information and to find out who is participating in Oregon, visit the Walk + Bike website.


National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 19-25

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in the U.S. In fact, almost half of the teen drivers involved in a crash die. Yet, a recent survey shows that only 25 percent of parents have had a serious talk with their kids about the key components of driving.

The "5 to Drive" campaign seeks to boost teen driver safety. The campaign is all about getting parents and guardians to engage in an ongoing discussion with their teens about safe driving. Parents and guardians are asked to reinforce these five basic rules with any young drivers in their family:

1) No cell phone use or texting while driving,
2) No extra passengers,
3) No speeding,
4) No alcohol, and
5) No driving or riding without a seat belt.

Adults control the keys. "5 to Drive" is the conversation that needs to happen before you hand them over. To see the full blog post with a link to materials parents can use, go to: www.dot.gov

Even if you think they don't hear you, they do. Remember, the "5 to Drive" – Set the rules before they hit the road.


Talk to Teens about Buckling Up

The parents of Alexa Johnson, who died in a car accident after failing to wear her safety belt, have started an effort to convince other kids to buckle up. Alexa was driving a pickup truck that flipped several times during a crash and she was ejected through the driver’s side window and thrown more than 100 yards away, because she failed to wear her safety belt. Vehicle crashes result in more teen deaths than any other cause. In half of these fatal crashes, the teens failed to use a safety belt: Only one in four teens actually buckles up when they get inside a car, the recent report by Safe Kids Worldwide found. Check out the video on NBC news to learn more about Alexa’s story.



National School Bus Safety Week, October 20-24

School buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in avoiding crashes and preventing injury. Students are about 50 times more likely to arrive at school alive if they take the bus than if they drive themselves or ride with friends. Students are much safer riding the bus than being driven by a parent, and are about 20 times more likely to arrive to school alive if they take the bus than if a parent drives them. School buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school.

Tips for kids to stay safe around school buses:

  • The bus driver and others cannot see you if you are standing closer than 10 feet to the bus. Stay out of the danger zone!
  • If something falls under or near the bus, tell the driver. NEVER try to pick it up yourself!
  • While waiting for the bus, stay in a safe place away from the street.
  • When you get on or off the bus, look for the bus safety lights and make sure they are flashing.
  • Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says it’s okay before stepping onto the bus.
  • Be alert to traffic. When you get on or off the bus, look left, right, left before you enter or cross the street.
  • When the driver says it is safe to cross the street, remember to CROSS IN FRONT of the bus.
  • Stay in your seat and sit quietly so that the driver is not distracted.
  • Some school buses now have safety belts. If you have safety belts on your school bus, be sure to learn to use the safety belt correctly.

 (Source: American School Bus Council, 2014)



Drive Impaired and the Party’s Over 

The scariest part of Halloween isn’t the spooky costumes and scary pranks; it’s alcohol-impaired drivers. Don't let Halloween turn into a nightmare. This Halloween, remember that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving. In 2012, almost half of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver. In 2012 alone, 26 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night.

Haunted houses and spooky costumes are nothing compared to the scary consequences of drunk driving. One minute, you’re celebrating with friends in costumes, and the next minute you’re sitting in the back seat of a police car or riding to the hospital in an ambulance. Even if you’ve only had a little to drink—you have a lot to lose. Follow these tips to spook safely:

  • Plan a safe way home now, before the festivities! Find a designated driver or someone to call for a ride - a family member or taxi company, for example - or make plans to ride public transit. Whatever you do, don't drive impaired.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, do not hesitate to contact local law enforcement or call 1-800-24-DRUNK. It is your business - you could save a life.
  • If you're at a Halloween party and see someone who is about to drive or ride drunk, take their keys and help them find a safe ride.


NHTSA Traffic Safety Fact Sheets
Region 4 (Bend)
Region 5 (La Grande)
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