Torch Runs Through Florence; Increased Enforcement; Safe Waterways

Torch Runs Through Florence

The Special Olympics Torch passed through Florence yesterday.  As part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run the U.S. Coast Guard, Siuslaw Station participated in the run.  They received the torch in Gardiner and made their way up the coast.  Head of the Siuslaw Station, Chief Boatswains Mate Jay Nilles, said the men and women of the Coast Guard were proud to be part of the run.

“We’re showing our support for the Special Olympics and the law enforcement side of supporting the torch run and these guys and gals did a great job today.”

The run slowed traffic a little on Highway 101 in the noon hour.  It was backed up from just south of the bridge for about a half an hour, but Chief Nilles said it was a very safe run with no trouble.

“Everybody was very patient with us and we do apologize for holding up some of those summer time travelers trying to get to their destination this week, but it’s for a good cause and we know everyone is going to support that.”

Last year funding woes forced the cancellation of the fall and winter games but the Special Olympics Organization is looking forward to 2020.

Increased Enforcement

Expect increased enforcement for seatbelts, speeding and distracted driving this weekend.  The Lane County Sheriff’s department and other law enforcement agencies around the state will be participating in a state funded program that will focus on seat belt and child car seat use.  They will also be targeting aggressive driving and DUII.  Traffic on Oregon roadways is expected to be high this Labor Day and law enforcement will be actively looking for drivers that violate the law.  Some of the money used to support extra enforcement comes from a grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Safe Waterways

The Oregon Marine Board has posted a series of videos that educate boaters on the proper etiquette of boating, paddle boarding and kayaking on the water.  The educational videos include proper gear, how to deal with other types of vehicles on the water in multi-use waterways.  The videos teach the rules of the road on the water.  Ashley Massey, the public information officer for the Marine Board says the best way to encourage safe boating is to bring different groups together and find common ground.  The videos can be found on youtube by searching PaddleTV (one word).