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Columbia Press

Public Safety

Reporting road hazards just got easier

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Oregon State Police is launching a program making it easy for cell phone users to contact the dispatch center for nonemergency matters.

It’s called star OSP or OSP. Punching in OSP (or the numbers *677) provides the public with a quick, easy-to-remember number for reporting nonemergency traffic safety issues, highway hazards and obstructions, minor crashes and requests for assistance.

The number rings directly to the dispatch center, where it’s answered by a live dispatcher 24 hours a day.

Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular worked with the Department of Transportation and OSP to facilitate the service. It’s the department’s goal that, as this program develops, other cell providers will partner with them to provide access to all cell phone users. Members of the public without cell phones, or who have providers that aren’t yet supporting the access number, can still dial the OSP’s toll free phone number, 800-452-7888.

The number also can be used to turn in wildlife poachers, habitat law violators and other suspicious activity, as the OSP’s Fish & Wildlife Division is connected with the new number.

And it can pay to turn in poachers. TIP rewards include $1,000 for bighorn sheep, mountain goat and moose; $500 for elk, deer and antelope; $300 for bear, cougar and wolf and any type of habitat destruction; $100 for game fish and shellfish, upland birds, waterfowl and furbearers.

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