More than 200 crashes in past 2 years; say 45 mph speed limit is by design
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Bend Police said Monday they have seen a recent uptick in excessive speeds and dangerous driving on the Bend Parkway, and as a result will be conducting a targeted safety detail, beginning Tuesday and running through June 20.
“The goal of this detail is to reduce speeds, injuries and crashes and to remind people of the risks of speeding, distracted driving and other dangerous behaviors,” said the release from police Communications Manager Sheila Miller, which continues below:
“While our officers try to address traffic safety every day throughout their shifts, it can be challenging to prioritize amid other daily patrol responsibilities. This detail will allow officers to focus on these issues that affect our community each day.
“Bend Police expect to have at least two officers enforcing speed limits on the Parkway between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays and 12 p.m. and 10 p.m. on weekends. This will be in addition to our typical patrol and traffic enforcement.
“Over the past two years, at least 206 traffic crashes have taken place on the Bend Parkway, including deadly crashes that involved excessive speed and crossing over the median. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data show that high speeds are a leading cause of crashes, particularly those resulting in injuries and death.
“The speed limit on the Parkway is 45 miles per hour. That may seem slow to some of our community members, but it’s important to remember that the speed limit is the result of the road’s design. When the Parkway opened in 2001, it was designed specifically to not be a freeway, and has a narrow footprint bound by railroad tracks.
“The 45 MPH limit takes into account the short on-ramps, intersections and traffic lights that dot the road, as well as crosswalks at the south end of town. The speed limit also accounts for a design that doesn’t include a hard barrier between north and southbound lanes and limited visibility and curves.
“When you see Bend Police conducting traffic stops on the Parkway, please be cognizant of our officers’ safety and remember to move over to give them space. ORS 811.147 (the Move Over Law) requires anyone driving up behind a police car or emergency vehicle pulled over on the roadside with emergency lights flashing to move over into another lane.
“If you can’t safely change lanes, you must slow down and leave as much room as possible for the emergency vehicle. There are not many places along the Parkway where officers can safely stay out of traffic while conducting traffic stops. If you are pulled over by an officer on the Bend Parkway, remember to stop outside of traffic lanes in a safe location,” Miller concluded.
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