March 2, 2013
Sergeant Luke Schwartz
Oregon State Police - North Plains
Utilizing recently provided overtime grant funding to target traffic violations associated with roadway departure crashes, Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers conducted an enhanced enforcement effort Friday afternoon along Highway 6 west of Banks. The enforcement effort is one of several to be held in the coming months on selected state highway locations to decrease the occurrence of these often tragic types of crashes.
A "roadway departure crash" is defined as a non-intersection crash which occurs after a vehicle crosses an edge line or a centerline, or otherwise leaves the traveled portion of the roadway. Examples include crashing head-on, sideswiping another vehicle, and traveling off the highway and rolling over or colliding with a fixed object.
According to Sergeant Luke Schwartz, on March 1, 2013 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., six OSP troopers from the North Plains worksite and McMinnville Area Command office focused highly visible enforcement efforts on Highway 6 between mileposts 30 to 45. During the four hour period, troopers stopped 80 vehicles while issuing 10 citations and 95 warnings for various traffic violations. Citations were issued for violations including speed, child safety seat, open container of alcohol, and driving while suspended. The most common violations observed by troopers were failure to maintain lane of travel and speeding. In addition to the traffic enforcement efforts, some of the assigned troopers responded to a reported domestic disturbance in the Timber area that ended with no arrests.
One driver stopped for following too close was determined to be impaired and arrested for DUII. KIRK R. OPHEIM, age 29, from Garibaldi, was on probation for a previous conviction of Criminally Negligent Homicide. He was also arrested for Probation Violation after his probation officer was notified of the OSP contact and he was lodged in the Washington County Jail.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, roadway departure crashes account for 53 percent of all fatal traffic crashes. In Oregon, these types of crashes account for approximately 66 percent of all fatalities.
ODOT awarded OSP grant funds to provide over 1,600 hours of overtime enforcement spread out for use on several selected state highway locations through the end of September 2013. The goal is to help lower these types of crashes in specific highway locations identified as some of the worst areas in the state. ODOT identified the highway locations following a review of crash analysis data that pointed at crash types, causes, dates, day(s) of week, and time periods. The enforcement strategy is in addition to ODOT engineering work that is also helping reduce these crash types in the selected areas.
Additional information about the grant funding provided to OSP is available on our website at: