COMMUNITY AND SCHOOL TRAFFIC SAFETY ACCOUNT
Binding City Policy
Binding City Policy
The Council finds:
- Traffic issues pose a major public safety, health, and livability threat in our neighborhoods and around our schools.
- Portland neighbors continue to identify traffic safety as a top concern. (Davis & Hibbitts, Inc. Survey - August 2003.)
- Over the last ten years, 10% more Portlanders were killed in auto-related crashes than were murdered. 40% more Portlanders were injured in auto-related crashes than were injured from assaults. There were 467 traffic fatalities and 85,586 traffic injuries in Portland.
- Most auto crashes are not unavoidable "accidents" - they don't have to happen. Driver error is involved in 93% of traffic crashes. Speeding is involved in 40% of traffic fatalities, and drinking is involved in 33% of traffic fatalities.
- Fifty-six percent of Portland residents limit walking, biking, and taking transit due to traffic safety concerns. 65% limit their children from walking, biking, and taking transit due to traffic safety concerns. (Davis & Hibbitts, Inc. Survey - August 2003)
- Since 1970, the number of kids walking and biking to school has dropped from 66% to 8% while the percentage of kids considered obese has increased from 12% to 25%. After distance, traffic safety is identified as the most common reason that kids do not walk or bike to school.
- Declining resources have dramatically reduced City of Portland funding for traffic safety improvements over the last few years, dropping from about 1 million dollars per year to less than $200,000 per year.
- Eighty-five percent of Portland residents support using revenue from traffic citations to improve traffic safety. (Davis & Hibbitts, Inc. Survey - August 2003)
- On July 30, the City Council, acknowledging the importance of traffic safety efforts to the community's health and livability, charged the Portland Traffic Safety Coordination Council with developing a financial strategy to improve traffic safety.
- The Portland Traffic Safety Coordination Council unanimously endorsed a financial strategy that would dedicate the annual increase in traffic fine revenue from HB 2759 to a Community and School Traffic Safety Account.
- The Portland Traffic Safety Coordination Council unanimously recommended allocating additional HB 2759 ticket revenue that Multnomah County and the State Court will receive from tickets written by Portland Police to the Community School and Traffic Safety Account.
- Reducing the traffic crash and fatality rate by 15% over the next five years would eliminate approximately 9,200 collisions and 27 fatalities.
- Traffic Safety Account revenue would allow the City to sustain enhanced photo radar and red light camera services without support from the General Fund.
- Creation of the Community and School Traffic Safety Account would establish Portland as a national leader in providing successful education, enforcement, and engineering traffic safety services.
NOW, THEREFORE, the Council Directs:
- The Office of Management and Finance to create a Community and School Traffic Safety Account funded with the additional fine revenue from HB 2759. The purpose of this account is to improve traffic safety for all modes; to create a conducive environment that supports increased walking, biking, taking transit, and responsible motorist behavior; and to enhance neighborhood livability by implementing strategic, collaborative, and sustainable traffic safety improvements.
- The Portland Traffic Safety Coordination Council to provide an annual recommendation to City Council on Traffic Safety Account expenditures using a balanced approach of enforcement, engineering, and education.
- City Staff and the Portland Traffic Safety Coordination Council to work with Multnomah County and State to increase funding for the Traffic Safety Account.
- This Ordinance is binding City policy.
Ordinance 178028, passed by City Council and effective November 12, 2003.