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Traffic Crashes On The Rise

BEND, OR -- The Oregon Department of Transportation is reporting more crashes so far in 2015, than in recent years. While specific numbers are not yet available, Peter Murphy with ODOT tells KBND last weekend’s crash that killed a Bend man on Highway 97 south of Chemult is indicative of a larger problem. "Our statistics show that fatals are up, motorcycle crashes are half again more than this time last year. Similar numbers with cars and cars into pedestrians and bicycles. There is just a lot more going on. I think it has to do with the price of gas, it’s way down so people are driving more, we’re coming out of the recession so there is simply more travel going on."

 

Murphy believes part of the cause is the overall increase in traffic, especially in Central Oregon. "We have numbers that suggest, for instance at the Sisters Viewpoint, 13% greater volume of traffic compared to last year, as an average. Summer is higher and winter is lower, but the average is 13% higher. So, there is simply just more people on the road. So, we’re more congested; we’re traveling faster, with the new speed limits coming into effect; and, it becomes incumbent on the motorist to do whatever they can to be as safe as possible on the road."

 

He adds, "It really is important that motorists take responsibility – we all do, really – and, it’s sometimes just a quick moment. It just is more important than ever that we take time."
 
To hear more of our conversation with Peter Murphy, visit our Podcast Page

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