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Troopers Patrol Highway 140 Intersection

April is distracted driving awareness month and local troopers are cracking down on drivers along Highway 140.

Posted: Apr. 12, 2018 1:00 AM
Updated: Apr. 12, 2018 9:45 AM

WHITE CITY, Ore. -- Oregon State Police will be on the lookout for distracted drivers on Highway 140. 

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It's part of distracted driving awareness month where law enforcement and local agencies are raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Troopers are focusing their patrols to one area of Highway 140 near the intersection of Kershaw Road. 

“I can see people when they’re looking down at their phones or talking on their phones even though we’re not supposed to be,” said Lisa Vargas who lives near Highway 140. 

While many families in the area were grateful for the added police presence, many thought it would only serve as a momentary solution to a growing problem. 

"Maybe it will help but most of the time drivers always check for police because we don't want to be pulled over," said Rosa Castillo. "Well what I think will help more will be a light. That's the problem."

According to research by the Oregon Department of Transportation, a distracted driver causes a crash every 2.5 hours - almost 10 crashes a day. That study was conducted between 2012 and 2016, before the state implemented its hands-free law in October 2017.

ODOT says it has plans to possibly add a roundabout to the area but that would not happen until 2020.

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