February 19, 2013
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
Part of the two-week statewide effort targeting texting, speeding and proper safety belt use, a multi-agency joint traffic enforcement effort is occurring Wednesday, February 20, along SE 82nd Avenue, Interstate 205, and Interstate 84. Officers from Portland Police Bureau (PPB), Multnomah County Sheriff's Office (MCSO), Clackamas County Sheriff's Office (CCSO), and Oregon State Police (OSP) are involved in the high visibility enforcement effort starting 8:00 a.m. and running through 5:00 p.m.
According to Oregon Department of Transportation, ninety-nine people in Oregon who lost their lives in vehicle crashes in 2011 were not wearing seatbelts. A statewide observation survey in June 2012 found 97 percent of Oregon's motoring public using safety belts. That puts the state among the top three in the country for safety belt use. Still, small children are often seen using adult-sized seat belts. Add that to distracted driving and speeding, which occur regularly on our roads, and it's a recipe for injuries and fatalities that possibly could have been avoided.
Impaired and distracted drivers will also be targeted, as well as those going above the posted speed limit. Over the past three years in Oregon, 12 people died in crashes involving an active participant who as reportedly using a cell phone at the time of the crash. Officials say this number could be even higher, because cell phone usage is believed to be underreported. When someone is driving 55 mph, 4.6 seconds of texting is like traveling the entire distance of a football field filled with people, while blindfolded!
OSP, MCSO, CCSO and PPB urges everyone to be part of our daily efforts to keep our roads safe because it's worth it if we can save a life.
OREGON LAW for child passengers: A child weighing less than 40 pounds must be properly restrained in a child safety seat. A child under one year of age or weighing less than twenty pounds must be restrained in a rear-facing seat. A child over forty pounds but under age eight or less than 4'9" tall must be restrained in either a child seat with harness system or in a booster seat that raises the child up so that a lap and shoulder belt system fit correctly.