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May-09-2022 15:12printcomments

Supporting a Reduction in the Number of Road Fatalities in Salem

November’s ballot which will include $157 million bond for improvements to Salem’s streets and sidewalks.

Image by: CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

(SALEM, Ore.) - Earlier this year, troopers from Salem were involved in conducting high visibility patrols in order to reduce the recent increase in incidents of reckless driving on Oregon’s highways.

Speeding, impaired and distracted driving are some of the most common causes of road collisions, and can result in significant physical and financial losses for regular drivers, transport workers and the businesses that employ them.

As well as careless driving, hazardous road conditions can cause serious accidents involving all road users.

By improving local transport infrastructure, developing safety programs for pedestrians and cyclists, and imposing penalties for neglecting health and safety procedures, the risks of fatalities on the roads of Salem could be significantly reduced.

Protecting Transportation Workers and Businesses

While all drivers are at risk on the roads, some of Oregon’s most hazardous industries leave employees vulnerable to work-related incidents.

In 2020, 15% of work fatalities occurred in the transportation sector, while the construction and agriculture industries, which often involve working with heavy vehicles, were even more dangerous.

The state of Oregon investigates employers to check that they are following health and safety regulations in the workplace and it can issue penalties for any violations.

Unfortunately, even companies that adequately protect their workers may be vulnerable to litigation, especially in the case of vehicle accidents.

Although assets may be put at risk by a third party, the legal costs involved in defending a lawsuit can be off putting, however, lawyers that work on contingency are only paid if a case is won and successfully settled. With no upfront fees, businesses can continue to function safely and look after their employees.

Funding Improvements to Transport Infrastructure

While reckless and distracted driving can easily lead to fatalities, congested roads and hazardous crossings can also put lives at risk.

To increase levels of safety, City officials will be putting a bond on November’s ballot which will include $157 million for improvements to Salem’s streets and sidewalks.

After consultation with local communities, priority projects have now been identified. As well as the repair of bridges and roads, they include the addition of new streets, extra signals to improve the flow of traffic, and safer pedestrian crossings and bicycle routes.

Implementing a Safety Program for Pedestrians and Cyclists

Reducing the number of crashes involving vulnerable road users is also the aim of Oregon’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Program.

Through promoting walking and biking, providing guidance and funding for improvement projects, and developing safety resources, the Program has undoubtedly contributed to Oregon’s recent top ranking for cycling safety.

While the percentage of commuters cycling to work is the highest in the country, the number of cycling fatalities is the lowest.

Despite a reduction in work-related fatalities and a top ranking for cycling safety, reckless driving and hazardous roads are still causing serious traffic incidents throughout Oregon.

By holding businesses accountable for accidents, funding improvements to infrastructure, and implementing safety programs for vulnerable road users, the number of fatalities on the roads of Salem could be reduced even further.

Source: Special Features Dept.


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