BEND, Ore. - Law Enforcement agencies from Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties are joining the State of Oregon in a 14-day traffic enforcement blitz dedicated to night time/daytime safety belt usage and prohibition of minors in open pickup beds from May 20 through June 2.
Local agencies involved in the increased enforcement include the Bend Police Department, Crook County Sheriff's Office, Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police, Prineville Police Department, and Redmond Police Department.
Participating agencies will provide regular and overtime enforcement focused on night time/daytime belt use and other moving violations. The enforcement is funded by overtime funds through the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Oregon has the second highest safety belt use among U.S. states with 97% of the motoring public observed using safety belts routinely. This is good news, as consistent belt use is the single most effective way to protect motor vehicle occupants from crash injury or death, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Last year in Oregon, 215 motor vehicle occupants died in crashes. Sixty-one of those individuals were unbelted; forty-nine of the unbelted fatal crashes were pickup occupants with two-thirds of them dying in night time crashes. Proper use of safety belt and child safety systems can reduce the risk of crash injury by as much as 70% or more.
This will be the second of three seat belt blitzes to be performed in 2013. For additional information, please contact Lieutenant Chris Carney at the Bend Police Department at 541-322-2978.
Deschutes County Sheriff's Office release:
The Oregon Safety Belt Overtime Campaign is a statewide selective traffic enforcement program that seeks to reduce the number of motor vehicle-related deaths and injuries by increasing public awareness of laws regarding the three most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crash injuries: safety restraint use, speed, and impaired drivers.
A statewide observation survey has found 97 percent of Oregon's motoring public using safety belts, making Oregon the second-highest state for compliance of belt use in our country.
Since the 1990 passage of Oregon's adult belt law, observed belt use among the motoring public has doubled from 50 percent to 97 percent while crash fatality and injury rates have both dramatically decreased from 59 percent and 37 percent respectively. Proper use of safety belt and child safety systems can reduce the risk of crash injury by as much as 70% or more.
The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office is increasing traffic patrols during daylight hours for the purpose of enforcing seat belt and child restraint violations during this two-week campaign.
The sheriff's office is also increasing traffic patrols during nighttime hours to focus on DUII enforcement. The campaign will run from May 23 through May 27, focusing on the Memorial Day weekend.
The sheriff's office, along with the Oregon Department of Transportation encourages all drivers and passengers to make a conscious effort to use their seat belt at all times while traveling in a motor vehicle, regardless of the distance traveled.
Furthermore, we encourage all drivers to drink responsibly. If drivers intend to drink, please plan ahead and use a designated driver or public transportation such as a taxi or the local bus system.