In 2015, the most recent year data is available, 445 people in Oregon were killed in motor vehicle crashes and another 41,675 were injured. Lane County led the state with more traffic fatalities than any other county in Oregon – 57 killed and 3,242 injured. Nationally, there was an 8 percent increase in traffic fatalities – the largest increase in 50 years – with Oregon at the top of the list with a 27 percent increase.
Traffic is a public health issue and the recently formed Safe Lane Transportation Coalition (SLTC) is working to reduce those numbers in Lane County by adopting the region’s first-ever Transportation Safety Action Plans. The SLTC will work to evaluate best practices from other communities, look at what is currently available in Lane County and seek partnerships to support future efforts.
Strategies to reduce fatalities include a combination of engineering solutions to create safer roadways, educating people about safer practices, and improving enforcement and emergency response services. Supporting high-visibility Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) enforcement is a key area of focus for SLTC.
In addition to the Transportation Safety Action Plans, both Lane Transit District (LTD) and the City of Eugene have adopted Vision Zero resolutions, which set a goal of zero traffic fatalities or serious injuries. The City of Springfield has accepted the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets and Lane County has identified Towards Zero Deaths as a key piece of its upcoming transportation safety plan.
During June of each year, the National Safety Council and thousands of organizations across the country celebrate National Safety Month which includes a focus on road safety. The launch of the SLTC is in alignment with this effort.