Road Fatalities Rise During Summer Months in Central Oregon, Bend PD Responds
With thousands of Central Oregonians traveling this past holiday season, Oregon State Police report an increase of vehicle-related crashes and fatalities throughout the month of June. Twenty-seven fatalities were reported on Oregon roads, with 50 percent of those occurring in Central and Eastern Oregon. At least four of the crashes included a head-on collision on a two-lane highway. Alcohol, texting and fatigue were contributing factors, according to the report.
With an increase of vacationers on the roads, in the summer Sgt. Yvette Shepherd of the Oregon State Police told the Oregonian that, "More vehicles are on the road this time of year and the July Fourth holiday tends to see a lot of crashes." AAA projects 44.2 million Americans will travel 50 percent more miles away from home during the Independence Day week of celebrations. "This is the highest travel volume for the holiday on record. It adds up to 1.25 million more travelers than last year and an increase of 2.9 percent over 2016."
ODOT, Central Oregon law enforcement agencies, including Bend Police, Redmond Police, Black Butte Police, Oregon State Police and Deschutes County Sheriff's Office will be conducting an enhanced patrol on Highway 97 near Lava Butte due to the "Dramatic increase in crashes in the region," according to the Bend Police Department. " There will be focus on speed and distracted driving...Our goal is to make traveling on Central Oregon highways safer."