ODOT Media Advisory: Your chance to drive distracted at PIR April 12

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Media Advisory: Your chance to drive distracted at PIR April 12


At 11:00 a.m. Thursday April 12, ODOT will host a press conference at Portland International Raceway with several distracted driving courses for reporters to experience firsthand.


Analysis of state crash data for five years (2012-2016) shows that:

  • A distracted driver causes a crash every 2.5 hours on average.
  • Distracted driving plays a role in one of every 12 serious injury crashes in Oregon.


We invite media to talk with safety officials, law enforcement, safety advocates and survivors from Oregon and Washington. The Oregon Driver Education Center will provide three driving courses reporters can test: a distracted driving course, an EZ drift car and an accelerator car, which gauges response time. Representatives from Oregon Impact, Trauma Nurses Talk Tough and U-TURN 180 will be available to comment. ODOT Director Matt Garrett, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Regional Administrator Greg Frederickson and Washington Traffic Safety Commission Media Relations Manager Shelly Baldwin will provide opening comments.


Shannon Moulton, the mother of a young woman killed in a Feb. 2016 distracted driving crash, Alexxyss Therwhanger, will also be available for interviews. Alexxyss’ crashed car will be on display; her story will be displayed on video. This event concludes a statewide tour and campaign fighting distracted driving. During this campaign, OSP and ODOT partnered and provided high visibility enforcement statewide.


OSP will provide media ride-alongs looking for distracted drivers; please schedule in advance with OSP Sgt. Yvette Shepard, 503-410-4198.


For more information:

  • Dave Thompson, APR, Public Affairs Program Manager, 503-860-8021
  • Kelly Kapri, Distracted Driving Program Manager, 503-986-3293



  • Graphic: “Free_your_mind” (JPG)
  • Background: “Distracted_driving_Background” (PDF)
  • Map: “Portland_Intl_Raceway_Distracted_Driving_Event” (PDF)