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‘Please, slow down’: A trooper’s plea to drivers

This was one bad week on the roads, with a fatality and a serious injury wreck happening on Dec. 23 and 24, just miles apart on Highway 35 near Mt. Hood Meadows.

“Be responsible,” we advised motorists in this space a few issues back, in connection with the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown to stop impaired drivers.

We reiterate a few key tips:

n If you are hosting a party, offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and help your guests be responsible. Don’t let someone who has been drinking get behind the wheel.

n Buckle up, every trip, every time.

n Drive defensively at all times.

Report impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1 or OSP at 1-800-24DRUNK (1-800-243-7865).

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The “Drive Sober” campaign began Dec. 12 and ends Jan. 1.

But vigilance and caution are a 365-day need.

The fact is that most people never drink and drive. Most motorists will never cross that line.

But the problem goes beyond alcohol- or substance-induced lapses of judgment.

Dangers happen every day from the lapses of judgment that many motorists commit while alert and unimpaired: these include speeding, following too close, or driving too fast in wet, icy, foggy or other conditions that limit visibility and reduce reaction time.

Oregon State Trooper Brett Ocheskey, who is investigating the Christmas Eve wreck, made an impassioned plea to all motorists on Thursday.

Ocheskey, a Hood River resident, father, and person active in the community, put it simply: “Ask people to please slow down.”

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