CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. — True to their word, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has launched a safety campaign aimed at the perilous Redwood Highway corridor as serious crashes continue to mount over the summer.
"Labor Day holiday drivers will see messages directed at raising safety awareness on Redwood Highway on one of the busiest travel holidays of the year," ODOT said in a statement.
Starting on Wednesday, traffic crews have placed five message boards along the U.S. 199 corrider between Grants Pass and the California border — urging drivers to be safe on the highway.
“We’re calling on drivers to be alert, drive sober and follow the speed limits,” said ODOT Southwest Region Manager Frank Reading. “One crash, one fatality is one too many.”
ODOT has recorded four deaths along the highway and more than 190 crashes since June 1. There were no fatal crashes on the highway in the preceding five months of this year.
The agency issued a slight correction on this figure, having earlier reported five fatalities since June 1. One of those crashes, ODOT clarified, was actually on Deer Creek Road, about a mile from the highway.
While the current push represents a short-term messaging campaign, ODOT says that it will roll into a longer term planning effort for the Redwood Highway corridor to begin next year.
"The U.S. 199 Corridor Plan will help map projects in the corridor for the future," the agency said. "A stakeholder advisory committee will also be formed which will help with the long term plan."