New signs aim to raise safety awareness on Highway 199

ILLINOIS VALLEY, Ore. — Heading into Labor Day weekend millions are expected to hit the roads, and local agencies want to make sure you get to your destination in one piece.

Highway 199 has seen nearly 200 crashes since June first. This weekend, crews are hoping to lower that number by adding signs to keep drivers alert. “You’ll see messaging in the corridor using some of our portable and permanent message signs,” said Gary Leaming with the Oregon Department of Transportation. “It’s an awareness campaign that you’re on a highway that we’ve had serious issues with, so drive accordingly.”

Cody Breeze, who has worked with Rural Metro Fire Department for 16 years, said Station No. 4 responds to more crashes on Hwy 199 than any other station in Rural Metro’s district. “A lot of distracted driving, whether it be phone use or speed,” Breeze said.

Both Breeze and Leaming are hoping the new signs will make drivers think twice about what they’re doing. “It adds a little shock factor of what actually happens out here on the highway,” Breeze said. “Drive sober, drive smart, drive the speed limit,” said Leaming.

All local agencies agreed that the safety of the public is their number one concern. “Take it slow, enjoy the time that you have off with your family, your friends, whatever activities that you’re doing,” Breeze said. “Drive responsibly, pay attention and enjoy the time that you have.”

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