OSP: No fatalities during Christmas reporting period

Authorities are reporting no fatalities in Oregon over the Christmas reporting period, although there was one fatal crash that happened a few hours before the period began.

Officials with OSP say that based on preliminary information from ODOT's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there were no known confirmed traffic fatalities in Oregon during the 30-hour Christmas holiday reporting period that began 6:00 p.m. on December 24 and ended at 11:59 p.m. on December 25.

A confirmed fatality did happen on Tuesday at about 2:45 p.m. in Multnomah County, but it happened before the start of the reporting period.

If the preliminary information holds true, this was the second fatal-free Christmas holiday period since 1970. The only other known fatal-free holiday period occurred during a similar 30-hour reporting period in 1996.

The deadliest Christmas holiday period occurred 30 years ago (1983) when ten people were killed in traffic crashes.

Law enforcement agencies all over the state stepped up patrols, and will continue to do so through New Year's Day.

Troopers say they made 11 DUII arrests during the 30-hour period, two of which were tied to citizen reports to OSP dispatch centers.

As the end of the year comes, authorities are reminding citizens that last year's New Year holiday period was one of the deadliest on record since 1970, as 12 fatalities were reported, including 9 deaths in the fatal December 30 tour bus crash east of Pendleton.

OSP, Oregon State Sheriffs' Association, Oregon Association Chiefs of Police and ODOT urge everyone to continue to be committed to keeping our highways safer for all travelers with these simple but important safety tips:

* Have designated drivers. Plan to have sober drivers at your party who can help get folks home safely. Volunteer to be a sober driver at someone else's party.
* Plan to stay overnight. Make pre-arrangements to stay overnight at your friend's home or in a hotel room where you won't have to drive if you have been drinking.
* Monitor car keys. Collect your guests' car keys at the beginning of your event. Then, talk with your guests before they leave about the best transportation options for them.
* Be ready with a cab fare fund. Having available cash to pay cab fare for your guests if they need it reduces the stress on you. If you can't afford to pay for it yourself, ask your guests to pitch in a few bucks on your invitation. And keep phone numbers handy.
* Be responsible. 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.
* Walking or bicycling after dark? Wear bright clothes to help you stand out.
* Buckle up, every trip, every time.
* Drive defensively at all times.
* Show zero tolerance for impaired driving. Report impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1 or OSP at 1-800-24DRUNK (1-800-243-7865).