BEND, OR -- With kids back in school this week, local law enforcement is asking drivers to remember to slow down in School Zones. Bend Police Chief Jim Porter tells KBND increased traffic patrols are less about issuing tickets and more about changing behaviors. "We will be a much higher presence in School Zones. We ask that folks take just a few extra minutes and slow down as you go; try to avoid sending that last text message; avoid picking up that cell phone when it rings."
Chief Porter says it’s easy to get frustrated in school congestion, but it’s important to allow extra time to slow down. "We go through summer when we’re allowed to drive pretty much freely, except for the high traffic flow we’ve seen this summer. Then all of a sudden, we’re clamped down with restrictions, and it’s not unusual for us to get impatient. You know, we’re all human; we all get up late at least once a week." He adds, "If you’re traveling at 20 MPH, as the school zones are posted, it’s going to give you adequate stopping time, if you’re paying attention to what you’re doing. And, quite frankly, pedestrians who are hit at 20 MPH have a very high survival rate, almost up in the 90 percentile. As opposed to, once you go up to 30 MPH and you hit a pedestrian, they have about a 50/50 chance of surviving. Once you hit 40 and hit a pedestrian, they have less than a 10% chance of survival."
He also suggests teaching kids basic traffic rules so they stay safe when walking to and from school.