Fewer motorists in Oregon yield to emergency vehicles on the road as evidenced by more traffic citations and warnings.
In 2017, the city’s police department handed 42 citations and 91 warnings to drivers that fail to give way for emergency vehicles, even when these use a siren speaker to clear traffic. Officials said that this has to change now that that the Oregon State Police (OSP) has launched a new non-emergency hotline number.
No Time to Stop
Mitch Mason of the Salem Police Department said that more drivers could have received more warnings and citations last year, if not for time constraints. Emergency vehicles prioritize their goal of reaching their destination, so stopping for a motorist who ignores its signals is not always an option, according to Mason.
Disobedient motorists may be more of an inconvenience than a safety risk, but there are certain cases that it may endanger the lives of emergency vehicles’ drivers and passengers while on the road. Distracted driving among the public serves as one example that could lead to a road collision.
State Police Effort
It may take a while to solve the problem of some drivers not yielding to emergency vehicles, but the OSP decided to take action by launching the 677 contact number. The new hotline allows dispatch centers to handle different kinds of non-emergency incidents such as minor vehicle crashes.
Motorists only need to press the asterisk sign followed by the three numbers to contact emergency responders. OSP communications director Mindy McCartt said that the hotline has been active since late 2017, although they only launched it recently for public use.
Drivers need to be aware that emergency vehicles do an important role in saving lives and preventing crime among others. What do you normally do when you see an emergency vehicle on the road?