MEDFORD, Ore. — Beginning Monday, and stretching through the end of the month, police departments state-wide are beefing up patrols looking for traffic violations. The increased patrols are thanks to a grant funded in part by the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Drivers NewsWatch12 spoke with say buckling up is automatic to them, but have seen others who don’t take the precaution. Local driver Sherilyn McGahuey says she doesn’t think twice about putting her seat belt on, or buckling her son into his car seat; seat belt compliance is one of the main focuses for the Medford Police Department, along with speeding and texting while driving.
“What we’re looking for with the seat belt compliance, the reason we do it is to get better participation. We want to have more people using seat belts and to have a safer environment for the when they’re driving,” said Medford Police Lt. Curtis Whipple.
Thanks to a grant funded in part by the Oregon Department of Transportation; Medford Police will have an extra 2 or 3 officers on patrol focusing on traffic violations. The campaign began Monday and is one of three that will happen this year allowing police to still be on the road if other officers are pulled away on calls.
“Whenever they’re not doing criminal cases they work on proactive stuff which includes traffic enforcement, we also have several officers who do specifically the traffic enforcement,” said Lt. Whipple.
Mcgahuey says she knows buckling can save lives and hopes other parents make sure their child are in a proper car seat.
“It’s safer with impact if you get into an accident or anything like that,” said Sherilyn McGahuey.
Medford Police say the “red light” cameras at intersections in the city only issue citations for red light offenses; even if the driver was also talking on a cell phone and not wearing a seat belt, no additional citations would be issued.