Oregon State Police troopers in Central Oregon will be paying extra attention during Spring Break heavy travel days on several area state highways from Friday through April 1.
Patrol and enforcement efforts will be boosted by overtime grant funding targeting roadway departure crash factors and speeding violations.
According to Lt. Carl Rhodes, OSP troopers will place enforcement emphasis during unannounced periods over the 11-day stretch when traffic is expected to increase around Spring Break for Oregon and Washington schools.
The four state highway areas targeted by OSP include:
* Highway 97 between Bend and Redmond
* Highway 97 south between Bend and LaPine
* Highway 26 between Madras and Warm Springs
* Highway 20 between Sisters and Santiam Pass summit
ODOT recently provided OSP grant funds dedicated for overtime enforcement to help lower "roadway departure" 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 four mentioned locations above for increased OSP enforcement are among the list of identified highways.
The enforcement strategy is in addition to ODOT engineering work that is also helping reduce these crash types in the selected areas.
A "roadway departure crash" is defined as a non-intersection crash which occurs after a vehicle crosses an edge line or a center line, 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 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 recently released information and tips for teens and adults planning to travel during Spring Break.
According to ODOT, young drivers age 20 and under are involved in crashes nearly twice the rate of the population as a whole. Drivers age 15 to 20 make up 6 percent of the total number of licensed drivers, but are involved in almost 18 percent of crashes.