Speed, phones and belts: Officers, deputies plan February traffic ‘blitz’

For two weeks beginning Feb. 11, the Hood River City Police Department and the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting a traffic safety blitz campaign.

The focus will be on seat belts, speed and cellphone use while driving.

“The phrase “Click-It or Ticket” may sound familiar to most drivers,” said Sgt. Don Cheli of Hood River Police.

“The purpose of this traffic enforcement is to promote safety, compliance and to reduce the number of motor vehicle related injuries or deaths,” said Cheli.

A statewide observation survey in 2012 found 97 percent of Oregon’s motoring public using safety belts, making Oregon one of the three highest belt use states in the country.

Consistent vehicle restraint use is the single most effective way to protect motor vehicle occupants from crash injury or death, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Child safety seats reduce crash fatality risk for infants under age 1 by 71 percent and for toddlers aged 1-4 by 54 percent. Safety belts reduce fatality risk by 45-60 percent.

Oregon law requires a child weighing less than 40 pounds to be properly restrained by a child safety seat.

A child under age 1 or weighing less than 20 pounds must be restrained in a rear-facing child seat.

A child over 40 pounds but under age 8, or less than 4 feet 9 inches tall, must be restrained in either a child seat with harness system or in a booster seat that raises the child up so that a lap and shoulder belt system fit correctly.

Law enforcement will not only be checking for persons wearing seat belts, but also that they are being worn properly.

“Please take the time to buckle up and keep your loved ones safe,” Cheli said.

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Oregon State Police reported 31 DUII arrests over Super Bowl weekend, down from 38 reported in 2012.

There were two fatalities in Oregon, including one in Clackamas County, in which alcohol is believed involved.

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