Hermiston herald. (Hermiston, Or.) 1994-current, January 11, 2017, Page A7, Image 7

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ODOT, OSP remind motorists
to stay safe along side of road
The Oregon Department of Transportation
and the Oregon State Police advise travelers
to be extra cautious when stranded or stopped
along the side of the road, especially during
poor weather conditions.
“Driving along Oregon highways in
inclement weather can be challenging, but
when people stop along the side of the road
and get out of their vehicles for any reason,
extreme precautions need to be taken by both
those on the side of the road and nearby driv-
ers,” said ODOT Region 5 Public Informa-
tion Officer Tom Strandberg.
There are times when travelers are com-
pelled to stop along the side of a roadway: to
repair a flat tire; put on tire chains; or assist a
stranded motorist. Unfortunately, people are
often seriously injured or killed while outside
of their vehicles along state highways.
“People need to take the time to review
all options before stopping and getting out
of their vehicles, especially when icy roads
or limited visibility create hazardous condi-
tions,” Strandberg said.
At times, Good Samaritans who have
stopped to help at a crash scene have been
seriously injured or killed on Oregon
highways when other motorists have lost
control of there vehicles on slick roads.
“It is a terrible tragedy when good
people who are trying to help others end
up worse off than those they are trying to
assist,” said Strandberg.
In some cases, especially during winter
storms, the best way to help is to get to a
phone as soon as possible and report the
incident, giving clear directions so emer-
gency responders can arrive quickly. Just
don’t talk on a cell phone while driving.
Before you pull off the road
If you have a flat tire or need to stop
along the highway, check the following
before pulling off of the road:
• Note mile markers and landmarks to
provide to emergency service providers
when calling for help.
• Make sure there is enough room along
the road shoulder to pull completely off of
the road.
• Never stop in the roadway or on
bridges, avoid areas with narrow shoul-
• If you are compelled to stop and help
a stranded motorist during poor weath-
er conditions, take careful note of the
surrounding area, highway and weather
conditions. It is often safer for the strand-
ed motorists, other travelers and yourself
to call for help, rather than stopping in an
area that could create more hazards. Note
the color of the vehicle, landmarks and
mile markers to provide to 911 operators.
Oregon Department of Transportation
In Oregon, there are times when you
may be required to use chains on snowy
or icy roads. It’s important to learn how
to mount your chains before bad weather
Chaining up is good for both you and
other drivers, especially on mountain
roads. But don’t wait to use them!
Travelers who wait until the last minute
to put on chains can block lanes, delaying
other drivers and making it difficult for
crews to sand and plow the road. You’ll do
your part to keep traffic moving by putting
your chains on early.
It’s a lot easier to put chains on for the
first time when you don’t have to struggle
to read the instructions alongside a snowy
road. Practice installing your chains at
home when the weather is fair. Then when
road conditions require chains, you’ll
already know how to use them.
Here are some tips on chaining up
and driving with chains:
• Check your vehicle operator’s manual
for the right type and size of chains to
use. Then follow the manufacturer’s
installation instructions.
• Ensure chains are the proper size.
Don’t deflate tires to install chains.
• Don’t wait until you lose control of
your vehicle before chaining up.
• Pull over to a safe and level area to
Make sure to move over
for emergency vehicles
When approaching the rear of a
stopped emergency vehicle which is on the
roadside with emergency lights activated,
Oregon Law requires drivers to move over
into another lane if one is available.
Law enforcement, highway workers
and emergency responders know all too
well of the dangers of working along
the side of the road, especially during an
“Police officers understand these
dangers because highway-related incidents
are taking more officers lives than ever
before,” said Gregg Hastings of the
Oregon State Police. “That is why Oregon
is one of many states that has a ‘Move
Over’ law to help protect emergency
responders working on our highways.”
If you can not move over into another
lane safely (or if you are on a road with
only one lane in each direction), you
must slow down and give the emergency
vehicle as much room as is safely possible.
If you have to stop
If there is no option other than stopping
along the side of the highway, consider the
following tips:
• Pull as far off the right side of the road as
possible, avoid stopping along the left side of
the road or center median areas.
• Turn on emergency flashers. Check your
mirrors and look to the rear to make sure it
is safe to get out of your vehicle. Face traffic
when setting out flares or reflective triangles.
• Flares and other warning devices should
be placed far enough away from the vehicle
to give oncoming traffic time to react.
• Stay buckled up inside your vehicle
and keep all passengers buckled if you are
• Turn and lock the steering wheel away
from the travel lanes so the vehicle will not be
pushed into traffic if struck from behind.
• Use extreme caution when outside the
vehicle to put on chains, change tire, etc. If
available, wear a reflective vest or bright
clothing. If it’s not safe, don’t get out of your
• Don’t extend legs or body onto roadway
while working on vehicle.
• Familiarize yourself with the surrounding
area and note location of steep embankments,
drop-offs beyond railings, water hazards or
other dangerous conditions.
• When outside the vehicle, carefully
watch the road and plan safe escape routes in
case you need to move quickly to avoid out of
control traffic.
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• Parts
• Batteries
• Brakes
• Oil & Filters
• Tools &
• Accessories
Auto Parts, Inc.
Kevin & Georgia Cleaver
200 S. First Place,
Transmission Specialists - Automotive Experts
Ryan Jokinen, Steve Hansell, Max Driskell, Kathy Schmidtgall, Jeremy Hascall, Kris Thieme, Owner
mount or remove chains.
• Carry a waterproof tarp or plastic
sheet to help keep you dry.
• Keep children and pets safe in your
car to avoid distraction and injury.
• Pull over in a safe place and retighten
your tire chains after you have driven a
short distance.
• Pull over and stop immediately if any
part of your chain fails or comes loose.
• Don’t drive faster than 30 miles per
hour when using chains. Accelerate and
decelerate slowly. Avoid spinning or
locking your wheels.
• Remember: You can slide even with
chains, so drive carefully and slowly.
Know Before you Go: Visit www.
TripCheck.com, Oregon’s travel
information website, for up-to-the-minute
road conditions and more information
on Oregon’s chain law and chain
requirements. You can also get the latest in
road conditions by calling 511.
Oregon Department of Transportation
Practice chaining up before you need to