What is a Safety Corridor?
Safety corridors are stretches of state highways where fatal and serious injury traffic crash rates are higher than the statewide average for similar types of roadways. To reduce the number of these incidents, the stretch of the road is designated as a "safety corridor" and becomes subject to heightened enforcement and double fines for traffic infractions, if signed. Drivers may also be asked to turn on headlights during the day, reduce speed and refrain from passing.
Safety Corridor Program Goal
The goal of the Safety Corridor Program is to identify corridors with high rates of serious and fatal injury crashes and reduce these crashes in the short-term through the use of partnerships with engineering, enforcement, education and emergency service. Each component contributes to the mutual goal of reducing serious injury crashes by encouraging drivers to change poor behaviors within safety corridors and drive safely.
Safety Corridor Designation Criteria
The five year average of the local fatal and serious injury crash rate is at or above 150 percent of the latest statewide five year average for a similar type of roadway (as determined by the ODOT Crash Analysis and Reporting Unit).
The initial Designation Team agrees that the corridor length is manageable from an enforcement and education (media coverage) standpoint. The segment of highway must be similar in nature. Two to 10 miles in length is preferable. Rural sections may be substantially longer than urban sections.
State and/or local law enforcement agencies commit to making the corridor a patrol priority.
There is a multi-disciplinary stakeholder group that meets on a regular basis (at least annually, as defined in the charter). Stakeholders are defined as those individuals, groups, and agencies that have expressed a current interest in the safety corridor and are considered to have valuable input in the process.
There is no fixed limit to the number of safety corridors that can be designated simultaneously in each ODOT Region. However, each ODOT Region may limit the number of safety corridors that can be effectively managed based on the resources available.
If a Designation Team or a Stakeholder Group seeks an exception to the Designation Criteria they must provide justification for the request and it will be elevated within ODOT for the final decision.
4 Es of Safety
Typical actions taken in safety corridors to increase safety may include:
EngineeringLow-cost engineering improvements, such as pavement striping, raised pavement markers, delineators, rumble strips, and signage. Assuring proper visibility and legibility of all traffic control devices, including removing unnecessary devices.
EducationSafe and courteous driving awareness efforts, including media and educational events, brochures, billboards, and poster distributions.
EnforcementMore frequent enforcement is the single most effective short-term way to reduce traffic crashes in safety corridors. Some state highway safety corridors are signed as "Traffic Fines Double". The "fines double" signage must be present within the state highway safety corridor in order for traffic infraction fines to be higher.
Emergency ServicesCoordination of emergency services in the corridor to enhance quick response.
How to Request a Safety Corridor
Safety Corridor designation is a significant investment of limited resources. All requests are taken seriously. Requests for designation of a stretch of state highway as a safety corridor may come from many sources. Examples include:
• Concerned citizens
• Neighborhood groups
• Local traffic safety committees
• School safety groups
Safety Corridor Guidelines
Oregon Safety Corridor Program Guidelines
2022 State Highway Safety Corridor List
Oregon Truck Safety Corridors
State safety officials focus truck enforcement efforts where higher than average truck crashes occur. Traffic violations in Truck Safety Corridors are not considered in a special zone and, therefore, do not carry double fines. More information about the Oregon Truck Safety Corridor Program.