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Making an Impact

January 2023

In This Issue

1. Celebrate Responsibly on New Year's Eve!

2. Hosting a Party? Tips for Safety.

3. Going Out? Tips for Safety.

4. What You Need to Know About DUI/DWI.

5. Guideline to How Much is Too Much.

6. Gresham Man Arrested After Fatally Striking a Pedestrian.

7. Driving in Winter Weather.

8. Driving with Little Ones. Coats and Car Seats.

9. Before You Go. Tools to Brave Winter Weather on the Road.

10. BIKETOWN Ridership Surges Past a Half Million Rides.

11. Fixing our Streets. News Release.

1. Be Sure to Celebrate Responsibly This Year

Because of drunk driving, every half an hour someone dies in a car crash. In recent years, an average of 13,000 people have died in drunk driving related car crashes annually. The Fourth of July tends to have the highest number of traffic fatalities, but New Year’s Eve sees the highest increase in drunk driving related fatalities.

According to the New York Times blog, Wheels, usually half of the fatal crashes on New Year’s Eve are related to drunk driving, most of which occur after midnight.

While you cannot stop other drivers from drinking and driving, there are ways you can help protect yourself and your friends, should you choose to drive somewhere this New Years eve.

2. Hosting a Party? Tips for Safety

Serve Non-alcoholic Drinks

Obviously the easiest way to know your guests won’t drive under the influence is to limit their access to alcohol.

However, many of your guests may expect, want, or bring their own.

It still doesn’t hurt to offer nonalcoholic drinks to designated drivers and to those who simply don’t wish to drink.

Ask About Plans for a Designated Driver

While it may sound nosy, making sure your guests pick a designated driver may help you decide if you need to confiscate keys or let someone pass out on your couch.

Emphasize that you’re asking for safety and most people will likely tell you what plans they made to stay safe.

Give Them a Place to Crash

Your friend may drive drunk if he or she doesn’t realize your place is open.

So, if you feel like a friend cannot safely drive home, offer your couch.

It may inconvenience you or your friend, but it could save a life.

Confiscate Keys at the Door

When your guests arrive, take the driver’s key or request they be placed in a locked room with purses and coats.

That way you can be sure no one leaves your house unsafe to drive.

Offer Alternative Transportation

Uber and Lyft both offer an amazing service that allows hosts to “gift” a taxi ride to an intoxicated friend. Consider offering this to a friend who cannot drive safely.

3. Going Out? Tips for Safety.

Appoint a Designated Driver

it's always a wise choice, have someone in your group stay sober throughout the evening.

Make sure you pick someone who is responsible and can get everyone home safely.

Give Your Keys to the Host

If you’re afraid you might get too drunk to drive safely, ask the party’s host if he (or she) can keep hold of your keys unless he (or she) believes you are sober enough to drive home.

Stay Over for the Night

If you get to the point where you aren’t confident in your driving skills or confident enough to bet your life on your ability to drive, then ask your friend if you can crash on his (or her) couch for the night.

Take a Taxi

It may cost a bit more, but that’s nothing compared to the cost of a life, for what could equal the value of a human soul?

If you’re feeling a little woozy or are afraid your judgment might be impaired, call a taxi and make sure you get home safely.

4. What You Need to Know About DUI/DWI.

A DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated) can earn you jail time, a license suspension, and large fees.

Driving while drunk could cause a car accident, which may increase your insurance. It could also kill someone, which can result in vehicle-manslaughter charges, a second degree murder charge.

Driving drunk is not worth these risks. You may have the mentality that you won’t “get caught” driving drunk, but it’s not about getting caught. It’s about protecting your life, your passengers’ lives, and the lives of those sharing the road with you.

5. Guideline to How Much is Too Much.

Frequent drinkers believe they can “handle” their liquor. But, the truth is, most metabolisms need a full hour to properly digest a glass of alcohol.

A standard “glass” is usually classified as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.

If you drink more than this in an hour, you should wait before getting behind the wheel.

6. Gresham Man Arrested After Fatally Striking a Pedestrian.

A Gresham man was arrested Monday night after police say he was driving impaired and fatally struck a pedestrian with his car in Southeast Portland.

Eric Caleb Ruckle, 48, could face charges of criminally negligent homicide and driving under the influence of intoxicants after police say he struck a person walking near Southeast Powell Street and 138th Avenue, in Portland’s Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood.

Portland police were called out to the crash about 7 p.m. Monday (11/21/22) night, where an adult man was found dead.

“This crash...should be a reminder to everyone that traffic crashes are preventable,” said PBOT spokesperson Dylan Rivera. “If everyone obeys the traffic laws, and makes sure not to drive while impaired or distracted, we can reduce and eventually eliminate traffic deaths from our streets.”

7. Driving in Winter Weather

The Basics

Slow down. It’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered surface. In fact, in 2020, there were an estimated 119,000 police- reported crashes that occurred in wintry conditions.

On the road, increase your following distance enough so that you’ll have plenty of time to stop for vehicles ahead of you.

Don’t crowd a snowplow or travel beside the truck. Snowplows travel slowly, make wide turns, stop often, overlap lanes, and exit the road frequently. If you find yourself behind a snowplow, stay far enough behind it and use caution if you pass the plow.

What to Do in an Emergency

If you are stopped or stalled in wintry weather, stay focused on yourself and your passengers, your car, and your surroundings.

Stay with your car and don’t overexert yourself.

Let your car be seen. Put bright markers on the antenna or windows and keep the interior dome light on.

Be mindful of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of any snow and run your car only sporadically — just long enough to stay warm. Don’t run your car for long periods of time with the windows up or in an enclosed space.

Tire Maintenance

As the outside temperature drops, so does tire inflation pressure. Make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure, which is in your owner’s manual and on a label located on the driver's side door frame.

Do not inflate your tires to the pressure listed on the tire itself. That number is the maximum pressure the tire can hold, not the recommended pressure for your vehicle.

An inspection is not just about checking tire pressure and age. You must also remember to use the following checklist:

  1. Observe and note any damage or conditions that may need attention.
  2. Check the tread and sidewalls for any cuts, punctures, bulges, scrapes, cracks, or bumps. The tread should be at least 2/32 of an inch or greater on all tires including your spare tire.
  3. If you find tire damage, take your vehicle to a tire service professional.

Battery Maintenance

When the temperature drops, so does battery power. In cold weather, gasoline and diesel engines take more battery power to start, and electric and hybrid-electric vehicles’ driving range can be reduced. Have a mechanic check your battery, charging system, belts, and for any other needed repairs or replacements.

8. Driving With Little Ones. Coats and Car Seats.

In colder weather, parents typically dress their children in winter coats. But it’s important to know that heavy coats can interfere with the proper harness fit on a child in a car seat.

When you secure your child in a car seat, pick thin, warm layers, and place blankets or coats around your child after the harness is snug and secure for extra warmth.

9. Before You Go. Tools to Brave Winter Weather on the Road.

Stock Your Vehicle

Carry items in your vehicle to handle common winter driving-related tasks, and supplies you might need in an emergency, including:

  1. A snow shovel, broom, and ice scraper.
  2. Abrasive material (sand or kitty litter) in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow.
  3. Jumper cables, flashlight, and warning devices (flares and emergency markers).
  4. Blankets for protection from the cold; and
  5. A cell phone and charger, water, food, and any necessary medicine.

Gas Up or Plug It In

Keep your gas tank close to full whenever possible. For electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, decrease the drain on the battery.

In general, lithium-ion batteries have reduced energy at lower temperatures. Additionally, most all vehicle batteries will use battery power for self-heating in low temperatures.

The battery drain due to heating can be minimized by keeping your electric vehicle as warm as possible during freezing temperatures.

A common way to do this: plug your vehicle in at night during the winter, keeping the battery temperature in its optimal ranges.

Plan Your Route

Check your local weather and traffic reports before heading out. If your roads are not in good shape, consider postponing non-essential travel until the roads are cleared.

If you do have to go out, make sure you are prepared in case you become delayed while traveling. If making a long road trip when winter weather is forecasted, consider leaving early or changing your departure to avoid being on the roads during the worst of the storm.

Familiarize yourself with directions and maps before you go — even if you use a GPS — and let others know your route and anticipated arrival time.

On longer trips, plan enough time to stop to stretch, get something to eat, check your phone, and change drivers or rest if you feel drowsy.

10. BIKETOWN Ridership Surges Past Half Million Rides.

  • BIKETOWN ridership surges past half a million rides, shattering prior annual record in just nine months

  • BIKETOWN trips increased 60% over last year

  • BIKETOWN for All members grow to one-third of all rides, as program expands access for Portlanders living on low incomes

Join BIKETOWN today:

50% off, for a limited time with special code SAVE50PDX

In recognition and celebration of this milestone, PBOT would like to make it easier for Portlanders to experience the benefits of BIKETOWN membership. Redeem the code SAVE50PDX, for a limited time, to save $50 when you become an annual member. Benefits include, saving $1 on every trip with free unlocks and half-off per minute fees all year (only 10¢/minute).

With support from a Living Labs grant from PeopleForBikes' Better Bike Share Partnership, BIKETOWN has increased outreach with high schools in high equity need areas and Multnomah County Health Centers through BIKETOWN’s Prescribe a Bike program.

This year, PBOT added BIKETOWN stations at Parkrose, McDaniel and Roosevelt High Schools.

Working with school health staff, teachers and counselors, and the Yes2College Program at Portland Community College, PBOT held multiple student outreach events at Parkrose and McDaniel.

The station near McDaniel High School is the highest ridership location east of 72nd Avenue with over 2,200 trips beginning or end at or near the station this year.


BIKETOWN is Portland’s bikeshare system, launched on July 19, 2016, with 1,000 bikes available to ride from one point to another for a small fee.

BIKETOWN is now composed of 1,500 electric pedal-assist bicycles serving a 41 square mile service area, including portions of East Portland.

BIKETOWN is a partnership between the City of Portland’s Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and Nike, the program’s founding partner and sole title sponsor.

BIKETOWN is operated by Lyft, the world’s leading bikeshare operator. Using either the Lyft or BIKETOWN app, riders can easily find, rent, and park

a BIKETOWN bike.

BIKETOWN is designed to be affordable and accessible, encouraging even more Portlanders to ride and allowing visitors to experience the city by bike.


11. Fixing Our Streets. News Release.

Fresh pavement and safer crossings on N Lombard Street in St. Johns, thanks to Fixing Our Streets!

News Release:

Smoother streets ahead: PBOT’s Gravel Street Service kicks off another season with work beginning in SE Portland.

Wishing You and Yours

Safe and Happy Holidays

from your

Friends at Oregon Impact