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Portland Bureau of Transportation

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News Release: Oregon’s first Speed Safety Cameras to start issuing tickets on Saturday on SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway

SUV speeds on BHH

Photo courtesy Portland Bureau of Transportation.

vision zero logo(Sept. 23, 2016) -- The first Speed Safety Cameras in Oregon will start issuing speeding tickets on Saturday, after 30 days of issuing warnings that have already reduced top-end speeding by 93 percent.

The goal of the Speed Safety Cameras is to reduce speeding and save lives. The SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway corridor is part of Portland’s High Crash Network of roads. PBOT’s recent Vision Zero crash data analysis found that Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway is one of the top roads where people driving are killed or seriously injured. People walking along or crossing on foot are twice as likely to be struck by a car than on the average city street.

Cameras started issuing warnings on Aug. 25, the start of a 30-day period that ends on Saturday. The warnings have already reduced top-end speeding along the corridor, where about 25,000 vehicles travel each day and the speed limit is 40 mph:

  • Before the cameras were installed, an average 1,417 vehicles a day traveled 51 mph or faster, according to readings by a pneumatic tube laid across the roadway.
  • During the warning period from Aug. 24 to Sept. 18, an average 93 vehicles a day were found traveling 51 mph or faster -- a 93.4 percent reduction from the tube count.
  • In the first week of the warning period, cameras recorded an average 115 violations a day. Violations dropped to an average 72 a day by the week of Sept. 12 to 18.

“Speed Safety Cameras have a proven track record in other cities, and are already showing their effectiveness in Portland,” said Transportation Director Leah Treat, “For us to reach our Vision Zero goal of ending traffic fatalities and serious injuries, we need tools like these cameras. Thanks to the City Council and state Legislature, we can use this proven tool and save lives.” “It's amazing to see how quickly these safety cameras have reduced dangerous speeding on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway,” said Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick, who oversees PBOT. “I'm so glad these cameras have already improved safety on a busy street where pedestrians face a terribly high crash rate."

VIDEO: Safety cameras recorded video of a white SUV traveling at 72 mph, available at the PBOT YouTube channel.

The installation on SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway is the first safety camera installation since the City of Portland and community safety advocates convinced the state Legislature in 2015 to pass HB 2621, which allows them to be used on High Crash Corridors in the Portland city limits. The City of Portland has been using other cameras to supplement speed enforcement for years, with police officers in vans enforcing speed limit violations. Portland also uses cameras to increase enforcement compliance with red lights at traffic signals.

Safety Cameras are a proven safety tool that can reduce dangerous speeding and save lives. The cameras are mounted along High Crash Corridors and when people driving past them exceed the posted speed limit, they capture photos and video for review by Portland Police. The Speed Safety Cameras issued warnings for the first 30 days of operation. An officer from the Portland Police Bureau will review violations before a citation is issued. The typical fine will be $160.

HB 2621 requires that money received from the speeding tickets can only be spent to cover the cost of the program or pay for safety improvements and programs on High Crash Corridors. Additional cameras will be installed during by spring 2017 at SE 122nd Avenue between Foster and Powell Boulevards, Marine Drive and Outer SE Division Street.

Speed reader board

Photo by Gabe Graff, Portland Bureau of Transportation.

The Speed Safety Cameras program provides ample warning to people driving in the area. State law requires speed signage and speed reader boards to be installed on SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway warning drivers more than 100 yards in advance of the cameras in both directions. PBOT staff also conducted extensive outreach with local neighborhood associations as well as more than 75 businesses and community organizations to raise awareness of the changes along the corridor, before the cameras were installed.

In addition to the new cameras, PBOT is delivering three additional safety and maintenance projects on SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway beginning this fall that reflect the goals of the Southwest Community Plan and the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway High Crash Corridor Safety Plan.

Among the included projects:

  • Paving maintenance: PBOT will perform a two-inch grind and pave maintenance project, resulting in new pavement from SW 21st/Bertha Court to SW 35th Avenue to be delivered this fall 2016.
  • Safety Demonstration Project: PBOT will deliver a Safety Demonstration Project on Beaverton Hillsdale Highway in spring 2017. The project includes a new marked pedestrian crossing with a median island with Rapid Flashing Beacons at 35th Avenue, a protected pedestrian/bike lane space, reduced travel lane widths, and new ADA-compliant pedestrian curb ramps.
  • Stormwater Improvements: PBOT and the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) are partnering to install stormwater curb extensions on at Shattuck. These will shorten the pedestrian crossings and ADA curb ramps will be constructed at all corners. Construction will be completed in the 2016/2017 fiscal year.

Death rate by various speeds

The City of Portland has joined cities around the country in embracing Vision Zero – the notion that the death of even one person on our roads is one too many. Vision Zero prevents traffic deaths through smart policy and system design. Learn more about Vision Zero and Speed Safety Cameras by visiting www.visionzeroportland.com.