Bend Police and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Community Action Target Team on Thursday will run a focused traffic enforcement detail on Highway 97 north of Bend.
The team will focus on the highway between Deschutes Junction and Cooley Road, keeping an eye out for distracted drivers, speeding, following too closely, seat belt violations and careless driving.
Preliminary crash data through 2017 from the Oregon Department of Transportation shows that in this particular area, drivers are driving too fast and following too closely. These two factors were established as being the primary cause of crashes in this area.
The goal is to help drivers understand the importance of following posted speed signs, while encouraging them to be attentive and safe behind the wheel.
“It’s very busy and we have high volume of crashes in that area and so it’s a good opportunity for us to make sure drivers realize that they need to slow down and they need to pay attention to the road,” said Bend Police Lt. Juli McConkey.
She said police provide advance notice for this type of operation, because it encourages drivers everywhere to obey the rules of the road.
“Even though we advise them ahead of time, there are still folks out there who are violating the law,” she said.
While Bend PD’s traffic division and the Sheriff’s Office Community Action Target Team have conducted similar joint operations in the past, this is the first time for this stretch of highway 97.