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Stepped Up Enforcement Aimed to Reduce Crashes on Targeted Yamhill County Highways
Lieutenant Marlene West
Oregon State Police - McMinnville
Office: (503) 472-0294

Oregon State Police working in cooperation with the Yamhill County Sheriff's Office and ODOT will be kicking off a long term plan aimed at reducing crashes and associated damage, injuries and deaths on targeted Yamhill County highways. Other specific area roads are also on the radar for future stepped up enforcement.

"All of our agencies want to have a positive impact toward improving traffic safety in our communities and on area highways. We've looked over ODOT's crash data and devised a tactical plan targeting two problem zones on state highways in Yamhill County where we believe our visible, active enforcement efforts can help reduce traffic crashes and improve highway safety," said OSP Lieutenant Marlene West from the McMinnville Area Command office.

Starting February 13, 2009, a thirteen mile stretch of Highway 18 within the Safety Corridor will be the focus of an ongoing interagency enforcement effort. This area of Highway 18 is not physically divided and experiences a very high traffic volume.

"Often multiple vehicles are involved in crashes in this area and predominate factors causing these are excessive speed and following too closely," said Lieutenant West.

Putting officers in a position to have a significant impact on known problems is one of the main strategies of a long-term plan developed at the OSP McMinnville Area Command office. Strategies are being developed using ongoing data analysis, trooper ideas, and input from local police partners and ODOT.

Two other zones selected by OSP to receive increased targeted enforcement are:
  • Lafayette Highway (154) between milepost 0 and 6, south of McMinnville
  • Highway 6 between milepost 38 and 52, west of Banks
The Oregon State Police also wants to remind drivers to pay attention and "move over" for police and emergency workers not only on these sections of highway but also along all roadways.

The "Move Over" law (ORS 811.147) states that if you are driving up behind or next to any type of emergency vehicle - police car, ambulance or public safety vehicle - working on the roadside with emergency lights flashing, you must:
  • Move over to another lane.
  • If you cannot safely change lanes, you must slow down.
  • In all cases, the driver must try to provide as much room as possible for the emergency vehicle.

Failure to comply with the "Move Over" law can result in a fine up to $355.