Patrols target enforcement of traffic laws

By Carrie Petersen
Albany Democrat-Herald

The Albany Police Department and Linn County Sheriff’s Office are stepping up traffic patrols throughout the county.

Here’s what the agencies are doing:

Highway patrol

In response to traffic complaints, the traffic team from the sheriff’s office has been concentrating enforcement efforts on mountain highways.

The U.S. Forest Service has also requested extra patrols as they have vehicles entering the highways to assist with firefighting. Because of that traffic, speeds have been reduced in the areas near Hoodoo and Marion Forks.

Sgt. Dave Opel and three deputies who make up the traffic team spent the last weekend in August patrolling on the mountain highways.

During that weekend, Opel said they wrote 42 citations for traffic violations.

The traffic patrols in the mountains will continue “as time will allow,” Opel said. The deputies are looking for various violations, including speeding, passing in no-passing zones and following too close.

On Monday, a deputy stopped a motorcyclist that was traveling 126 mph near Clear Lake.

School zones

With classes back in session, officers are patrolling in the Albany school zones.

The police department’s traffic officer has adjusted his schedule this week to work primarily around schools, Capt. Eric Carter said.

Other officers will patrol in school zones as they have time.

It’s also time to start watching for school buses on the roads again, Carter said. Red lights on buses mean drivers traveling both directions have to stop, he said.

Three Flags Campaign

Starting next Monday and continuing through Sept. 24, both agencies and the Oregon State Police will participate in the Three Flags Campaign.

During the campaign, local law enforcement receive federal funding to work overtime and concentrate their efforts on enforcing traffic laws. The upcoming campaign will focus on speed and seat belt violations and DUII.