The Curry Coastal Pilot

Several key 2008 statistics from Oregon's Traffic Safety Division (TSD) have arrived, and they paint a vivid picture of the risks and consequences of speeding in Curry County.

Speeding was the contributing factor in 60 percent andndash; three out of five andndash; fatal crashes in Curry County in 2008.

In fact, speed is the number one cause of traffic fatalities and injuries in Oregon and a contributing factor in half of the state's fatal crashes each year, according to TSD officials.

What's the hurry?

In addition to putting one's own life and that of one's passengers in danger, the speeding driver risks potential fines totaling hundreds or thousands of dollars, loss of license, jail time and a permanent black mark on his driving record. Oh, and having his name published in the local newspaper for all to see.

Is all that worth the few minutes saved by speeding? Of course not.

Patience is in order here, as is being more diligent in our good-driving habits andndash; especially now, with all the construction happening in and around town.

The Oregon Department of Transportation offers the following work zone safety tips:

andbull;Slow down, pay attention and stay calm.

andbull;Merge as soon as possible. Motorists can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by moving to the appropriate lane at first notice of an approaching work zone.

andbull;Expect delays and plan for them. Leave early to reach your destination on time.

andbull;Some work zones andndash; such as line painting, road patching and mowing andndash; are mobile. Just because you don't see the workers immediately after you see the warning signs doesn't mean they're not out there. Observe the posted signs until you see the one that says, "END ROAD WORK."

Following these simply tips should help ease the stress of driving around town and, more importantly, save lives.