Transportation Safety Newsletter, July 2021

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July 2021

Fourth of July Safety

This 4th of July declare a designated driver.

Did you know the Fourth of July is Oregon’s deadliest of the major holidays for traffic-related fatalities? The combination of hot weather, late night fireworks, celebratory gatherings, and volumes of folks out and about and it’s not surprising that impaired driving increases this time of year.

Travelers celebrating Independence Day weekend can expect heavy congestion, hot and dry conditions throughout Oregon and the Northwest. Everyone should plan ahead, add travel time, and pack patience for delays. Plan routes carefully, considering the many wildfire recovery areas around the state and continued wildfire risk. Remember to always drive sober, stay alert, and drive for conditions.

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Spring into summer... Enjoy the ride! Let's all look out for each other. Drive & Ride Safely. The Way to Go.

Summer Means Time to Brush Up on Road Safety Rules

As traffic volumes return to normal and summer travelers start heading out, it may be time to brush up on basic rules of the road – all aimed at getting us where we’re going safely. Wear your seat belt. Look out for others. Stay alert, and always drive, bike or walk sober. These actions can save lives.

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Construction zone on highway with VMS sign "WATCH FOR SLOW TRAFFIC"

A Reminder to Drive Safely in Construction Zones

It’s that time of year when construction crews will be out on local roads completing a series of projects and for locals that can mean delays and long waits. It should also mean, though, that area motorists pay especially close attention around road project sites. (Source: The Observer)

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Oregon State Police trooper vehicle

Keeping Motorists on I-5 Safe

State patrol agencies in Oregon, California, and Washington are partnering for a traffic safety campaign focused on speeding drivers aptly named, “I-5 Alive” starting July 2. This coordinated education and enforcement effort is aimed at making the 1,381 miles of I-5 safer for all summer travelers. In addition to a social media campaign, Troopers will be especially watchful for traffic violations that often lead to tragedy on our highways. Speed and distracted driving top the list, along with driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol and failing to use safety belts and child safety seats.

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People bicycling may use the full lane. Slow down, wait until safe, and give at least 3 feet of space when passing.

Promoting Safety on the Oregon Coast Bike Route

People who ride bicycles along beautiful U.S. 101 have a spectacular experience: unmatched scenery, cool towns along the way, breathtaking places to stop and enjoy the ocean breeze. This summer, we’re promoting safety along the route in the expectation that many more will be using it, eager to get out and take advantage of this unique opportunity.

Brochures, social media posts and even billboards will share the same messages, such as:

  • People bicycling can use the full lane, so wait until there’s a safe place to pass.
  • When passing someone on a bicycle, give at least 3 feet – enough so that if they fell over into the lane, you would avoid them. (This is Oregon law.)
  • Slow down and be patient.

Download educational materials or order free copies by visiting ODOT’s Storeroom website. Learn more about bicycle and pedestrian safety and ODOT’s program on the website.

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Woman driving while looking at her phone

Cell Phone Use in Young Adults

A new study reveals young adults who use cell phones while driving also engage in other risky driving behaviors, including speeding, running red lights, and impatiently passing a car in front on the right. While distracted driving is dangerous enough among adult experienced drivers, it’s even more dangerous for young drivers, particularly those with little experience behind the wheel.

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Woman bicyclist wearing a helmet on a bike path

Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Funding Program

The Oregon Transportation Commission approved $55 million for strategic pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements on ODOT roads in the 2024-2027 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). These funds will be allocated through a new program, the Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Funding Program as part of a $255 million investment in the Public and Active Transportation Program. We are excited to share our program website for the new Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Funding Program and to announce an upcoming online open house this fall.

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Distracted driving brochure in Spanish

Distracted Driving Brochures in Spanish

The distracted driving brochure is now available from the ODOT Storeroom in English and Spanish. To order free copies of the brochures, go to the ODOT Storeroom Order Form.


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