State patrol agencies in California, Oregon, and Washington are partnering for a traffic safety campaign focused on speeding drivers aptly named, “I-5 Alive” on Friday, July 2. This coordinated education and enforcement effort is aimed at making the 1,381 miles of I-5 safer for all summer travelers.
In addition to a social media campaign, officers of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Washington State Patrol (WSP) and Oregon State Police (OSP) will be especially watchful for traffic violations that often lead to tragedy on our highways. Speed and distracted driving top the list, along with driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol and failing to use safety belts and child safety seats.
“Driving responsibly and at a reasonable speed is the best way to help ensure you and your passengers will arrive at your destination safely,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “We know people are eager to get out and travel, but reckless driving will not get you there sooner – it will just create dangerous conditions for you and everyone else on the road.”
In California, citations issued by the CHP to drivers for speeds in excess of more than 100 mph increased drastically during the early days of the pandemic, from 1,331 citations statewide in May 2019 to 3,480 in May 2020, an increase of 161 percent. The number of citations for driving over 100 mph is still well above pre-pandemic levels, with 2,201 citations in April 2021.
“Summer holidays should be a time of fun and family, not sorrow and tragedy,” Chief John R. Batiste of the WSP said. “We ask everyone driving the I-5 corridor to slow down, pay attention, drive sober, and buckle up. When it comes to safe highways, we are truly all in this together.”
Five simple strategies for drivers to help make I-5 safer for everyone:
• Slow down
• Drive sober
• Be patient
• Put your phone down
• Buckle up
“Speeding continues to be one of the highest contributing factors to serious injury crashes and fatalities,” stated OSP Superintendent Terri Davie. “Speeding tickets are easily the most common ticket issued; however, it isn’t the goal of law enforcement. The goal of speed enforcement is to potentially save your life and the lives of the others.”
Each state agency will use its best strategies to provide additional enforcement presence during the entire month of July, including use of existing grant funding and shifting resources already on the road over to the I-5 corridor.