Bend Police officers participated in a speed detail from June 7 to June 20 on the Bend Parkway in an effort to combat speeding and distracted driving.
According to police, the goal of this detail was to reduce speeds, injuries and crashes and remind people of the risks of speeding, distracted driving and other dangerous behaviors.
Throughout the detail, the department often had as many as two officers enforcing speed limits on the Parkway between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and between 12:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on weekends, in addition to typical patrol and traffic enforcement.
Over the 14-day speed detail, officers made a total of 290 stops.
Of those stops, 259 citations were given: 250 for speeding, eight for driving while suspended and one other citation.
Drivers were cited for speeds ranging from 58 MPH (which is 13 MPH over the speed limit) to 84 MPH (39 MPH over the speed limit).
“It is 45 miles per hour,” Sheila Miller, Bend Police Department communications manager said. “We know a lot of people think that’s too slow.”
There is a reason for the current speed limit and the Oregon Department of Transportation tell us it will not change.
“We designed this parkway to be at 45 miles per hour,” Kacey Davey, ODOT public information officer said. “That means it’s designed so our ramp lengths and our merging spaces and our shoulders, those are all designed to 45 miles per hour.”
With so many roads coming onto and off the parkway, Davey says it would be difficult for drivers to safely get on and off if speeds were higher.
“Because we have a lot of bridges and overpasses and exit and entrances ramps,” Davey said. “That would all need a complete redesign.”
Speeding on the parkway can also be an expensive lesson to learn.
“When you’re cited going 21 to 30 miles per hour over, that’s a $265 ticket,” Miller said. “31 to 40 miles an hour over is $440.”
Both ODOT and Bend Police say with higher speeds come more accidents.
“We just encourage everyone to keep driving the speed limit and just watch out for others,” Davey said. “Because we know that traffic volumes have really increased.”
Bend Police may conduct additional speed details throughout the summer on the Parkway and other popular roads in the community.