Wow! NASCAR pre-season must be upon us! The nicer weather the past couple of days has really brought out the speeders. This week the Eugene Police Traffic Safety Unit has issued numerous citations for speeds well above 80 miles per hour, including two citations in excess of 100 miles per hour on Beltline. To put this hazard in context, a vehicle traveling 100 m.p.h. will cover about half the length of a football field in the same amount of time it takes most people to take one step. In the time it takes the average person to perceive and react to a hazard, a 100 m.p.h. vehicle will have covered almost 240 feet -- that doesn't include additional distance to brake or safely steer around another occupied vehicle.
The Traffic Safety Unit was recently awarded an Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant through the U.S. Department of Justice. This grant was earmarked for and 100% funded the purchase of new lidar (light detection and ranging) speed measuring devices that will be a valuable upgrade from our 15-20 year-old lidar units. The updated lidar units are waterproof, dust proof and allow for use in wet and foggy weather, along with numerous other advanced features. These lidars are now in use and have helped us educate several dozen speeders in the past couple of days.
Speeding citations are an unnecessary expense to those who receive them and can be completely avoided by simply following the posted speed limits. Depending on speed, fines can be in excess of $1,000 and may be enhanced with suspended driving privileges. However, a collision will cost you and those around you significantly more -- over 300 Oregonians lose their lives each year in avoidable traffic collisions.
Please... slow down, buckle up, avoid driving distractions, and leave the driving to someone else if you've been drinking!