Police plan to amp up enforcement through New Year

There were zero traffic fatalities in Oregon for 30 hours over the Christmas holidays, according to Lt. Gregg Hastings of the Oregon State Police.

There also were 11 arrests for driving under the influence of intoxicants during that period, Hastings said in a recent press release from the Oregon State Police.

Based on preliminary information from the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Report System, police began the reporting period at 6 p.m. Dec. 24, and it ended at 11:59 p.m. Dec. 25.

If no other reports come in, this will be the second “fatal-free” Christmas holiday since 1970, Hastings said. The only other known holiday period without fatalities since then was during a similar 30-hour reporting period in 1996, Hastings said.

Sadly, there was a fatality shortly before this year’s reporting period at approximately 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24, in Multnomah County, the lieutenant said.

The deadliest Christmas holiday period was in 1983 when 10 people were killed in traffic crashes.

Hastings said police plan to step up DUII enforcement as part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign through Jan. 1.

“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,” Hastings said.

In 2012, during a 102-hour reporting period from Dec. 21-25, three people died in three separate traffic accidents, and troopers reported 53 DUII arrests, Hastings said.

Last year’s traffic fatalities also included the deaths of nine people Dec. 30 when a tour bus crashed east of Pendleton.

To lessen the number of traffic-related deaths over the holidays, police urge people to drive sober, have designated drivers, plan to stay overnight, collect guests’ car keys and have cash to take a cab.

— Cari Hachmann

Police also advise travelers to stay tuned to weather forecasts and keep up-to-date on road conditions at

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