Police to target distracted drivers

TIGARD, Ore. (KOIN 6) —- Three law enforcement agencies will be specifically targeting distracted drivers this week in an effort to keep Oregon roads safer.

Starting Monday and ending Friday, Oregon State Police, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tualatin Police Department will have additional officers on patrol in the areas of Interstate 5, Interstate 205 and the city streets to reduce the number of crashes linked to distracted driving.

OSP considers distraction anything that diverts the driver’s attention from the task of navigating the vehicle and responding to critical events. The most obvious violation associated with distracted driving will be handled through enforcement of Oregon’s cell phone law, troopers said.

According to Oregon Department of Transportation, from 2008  to 2012 in Oregon, 13 people were killed in crashes involving drivers using a handheld mobile communication device to talk or text. During that same five-year period in Oregon, 65 people died in crashes involving any kind of distracted driver.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each day in the United States more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,060 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.

Troopers said when sending or receiving a text, a driver’s eyes are taken off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that is the equivalent to driving the length of a football field while blindfolded, troopers said.

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