Based upon preliminary information confirmed with ODOT’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), there were no known confirmed traffic fatalities in Oregon during the 30-hour Christmas holiday reporting period that began 6:00 p.m., December 24, and ended 11:59 p.m.
If the preliminary information holds true, this was the second fatal-free Christmas holiday period since 1970. The only other known fatal-free holiday period occurred during a similar 30-hour reporting period in 1996. The deadliest Christmas holiday period occurred 30 years ago (1983) when ten people were killed in traffic crashes.
OSP troopers reported 11 DUII arrests during the 30-hour period, two of which were tied to citizen reports to OSP dispatch centers.
During last year’s 102-hour reporting period, three people died in 3 separate fatal traffic crashes and troopers reported 53 DUII arrests. OSP, sheriff’s departments and city police agencies in Oregon and around the nation are continuing stepped up DUII enforcement as part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign through January 1, 2014.
As we approach the end of another year and the New Year’s holiday period, we must remember that last year’s was one of the deadliest on record since 1970 as twelve fatalities were reported, including 9 deaths in the fatal December 30th tour bus crash east of Pendleton. Everyone should remain committed to keeping our highways safer for all travelers with these simple but important safety tips:
* Have designated drivers. Plan to have sober drivers at your party who can help get folks home safely. Volunteer to be a sober driver at someone else’s party.
* Plan to stay overnight. Make pre-arrangements to stay overnight at your friend’s home or in a hotel room where you won’t have to drive if you have been drinking.
* Monitor car keys. Collect your guests’ car keys at the beginning of your event. Then, talk with your guests before they leave about the best transportation options for them.
* Be ready with a cab fare fund. Having available cash to pay cab fare for your guests if they need it reduces the stress on you. If you can’t afford to pay for it yourself, ask your guests to pitch in a few bucks on your invitation. And keep phone numbers handy.
* Be responsible. If you are hosting a party, offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and help your guests be responsible. Don’t let someone who has been drinking get behind the wheel.
* Walking or bicycling after dark? Wear bright clothes to help you stand out.
* Buckle up, every trip, every time.
* Drive defensively at all times.
* Show zero tolerance for impaired driving. Report impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1 or OSP at 1-800-24DRUNK (1-800-243-7865).
OSP and ODOT also urge travelers to “Know Before You Go”, monitoring media reports for weather forecasts and keeping up-to-date on road conditions at www.TripCheck.com. In addition to road and weather conditions, winter driving safety information and tips are also there to help keep you informed and safe on our roads.