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NEWS RELEASE: Mayor Hales, Commissioner Novick welcome police crackdown on Thursday July 25 to raise awareness of summer traffic safety

July 24, 2013

Contact:

Dana Haynes, Mayor’s Office, 503-823-4799, dana.haynes@portlandoregon.gov

Sgt. Pete Simpson, Police Bureau, 503-823-0830, peter.simpson@portlandoregon.gov

Dylan Rivera, Portland Bureau of Transportation, 503-823-3723, dylan.rivera@portlandoregon.gov

PORTLAND, Ore.– Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick have asked Portland Police to provide targeted enforcement on Thursday, designed to improve traffic safety this summer. An unusually high number of traffic fatalities so far this year is cause for concern, they say, and the public needs to know driver awareness can help keep the roadways safe.

“Our message is the same for drivers, for bike riders and for pedestrians,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “You have the power. If you share our streets, and if you do so without undue distraction, you can make a dramatic difference in the number of injuries and fatalities. But it takes all of us, equally, to make that difference.”

“Safety is the transportation bureau’s top priority,” said City Commissioner Steve Novick, who oversees the bureau. “We’re building safer crosswalks as fast as we can and working with the community to address our high crash corridors. But everyone plays a role by paying attention no matter how you’re getting around.”

“We have had 23 fatal crashes this year compared to 17 at the same time last year,” said Chief Michael Reese.  “People are dying or being injured onPortland’s streets from traffic crashes that often can be avoided.  We usually see a seasonal increase in traffic fatalities this time of year, due to more motor vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians on the road during summer months.  However, we are concerned at the rising number of fatalities this year and we want to remind people to slow down, not drive distracted or impaired and make traffic safety a priority.”

  

Traffic safety mission details

Why:  23 fatal crashes this year (17 same time last year)

When: Thursday July 25, 2013. 12:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Who: Portland Police Traffic Division, East Precinct and Central Precinct; the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office; and, the Oregon State Police

What:Mission will focus on all traffic violators, including distracted and speeding drivers, pedestrian violations and unsafe bicycle operation.

The first phase of the mission, from noon to 3:30 p.m., will focus on SE   Division Street, from SE 82nd to 162nd Avenues.

The second phase of the mission, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., will be onSW Barbur Boulevard, fromSW Hamilton StreettoCapitol Highway. 

Both of these areas among the 10 corridors in the city’s High Crash Corridor Program, where the City of Portlandis working with residents and businesses to identify traffic safety solutions and encourage compliance and additional enforcement of traffic laws. To learn more about the Transportation Bureau’s High Crash Corridor Program, see: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/54892

 

Statistics about recent traffic crashes

July 24, 2013

  • To date in 2013 there have been 23 fatal traffic crashes in the City ofPortland. There were 31 in all of 2012.
  • At this time last year, there had been 17 fatal traffic crashes.
  • Breakdown of 2013 fatalities: 14-motor vehicle; 3-motorcycle; 6-pedestrian; 0-Bicyclists
  • 12 of the 23 fatalities have involved impaired drivers with BAC’s ranging from
    .15 - .25 %
  • Of the 6 pedestrian fatalities, motor vehicle drivers have been at fault in 4 of them
  • There were 4 traffic fatalities in 6 days from July 5 to 11. Two involved speeding and impaired drivers.
  • Driver/pedestrian distraction or inattention: 4 of the 6 pedestrian fatalities could have been avoided if the pedestrian and/or driver were focused on their actions

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