Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Oregon Department of Transportation reports fewer traffic fatalities this year than last year during the Memorial Day weekend. Three people died in separate crashes over the three-day weekend. Four people died over the 2011 holiday weekend.

Lieutenant Gregg Hastings is with the Oregon State Police. He says it's difficult to pinpoint just one reason for the relatively low numbers.

"I think everyone is grateful that we were half of what is the average for the Memorial holiday period, which historically since 1970 on average six people have died in traffic crashes. There were still three fatalities and three people who lost their lives in very unique crashes," Hastings says.

Hastings says high gas prices may have given people a reason to stay off the roads this weekend. Oregon State Police statistics show fewer drunken driving arrests as well. Troopers arrested 61 impaired drivers, down from 88 arrests last year.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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