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(June 28, 2018) If you are planning to be out-and-about this Fourth of July weekend, the Portland Bureau of Transportation asks that you please make plans to travel safely.
A year ago, Portland experienced a string of deadly traffic crashes around the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Seven people died in six days from June 28 to July 3, 2017.
Three people died in crashes within hours of each other on Monday, July 3, 2017. The crashes began at 6:15 p.m. when Daniel, age 57, died in a collision on SE 96th Ave. Two hours later, Lisa, 41, was killed in a crash on NE Airport Way. At about 10:15 p.m., Patrick, 23, was in a crash on SE 122nd Ave. and died a short time later.
Four more people died between June 28 and July 3. Three of these deaths involved alcohol impairment and all four took place on Portland's High Crash Network, the 30 corridors that comprise only 8 percent of city streets but account for most of the fatal crashes.
Another common feature: Every one of these deaths was preventable. Tragically, Portland has not had a Fourth of July weekend with zero traffic deaths since 2014.
Please keep these facts in mind this holiday weekend:
The majority of people killed while walking in Portland are legally in a crosswalk. When driving, make sure to stop for people walking at marked and unmarked crosswalks.
Safe speeds save lives. You, your passengers, and everyone on the street around you are safer when you drive at or below the speed limit.
PBOT is working with its Vision Zero Task Force and other community partners to end traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Dispatchers with the Bureau of Emergency Communications take calls about crashes from people directly affected. Law enforcement, fire and EMS responders are often the first on the scene of fatal crashes. Doctors and nurses at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, a Level 1 trauma center, see the results of traffic crashes firsthand.
Legacy Emanuel Medical Center trauma physician Ric Cole, M.D., says emergency room staff share PBOT’s recommendations, based on injuries they see from crashes during summer holidays.
“Don’t consume alcohol and operate vehicles,” Dr. Cole said. “Also, everyone needs to stay alert and look out for each other, especially during outdoor events, like fireworks shows.”
More information about Portland’s Vision Zero effort to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2025 is available at visionzeroportland.com.
For more information, or to request a presentation to your community group about how to be safe on our streets, email firstname.lastname@example.org