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(March 21, 2018) -- The Speed Safety Cameras on NE Marine Drive will start issuing speeding tickets on Thursday, March 22, after 30 days of issuing warnings.
The goal of the Speed Safety Camera program is to reduce speeding and save lives. Marine Drive is one of 30 streets that comprise Portland's High Crash Network. The roads in this network make up just 8 percent of Portland streets, but account for 57 percent of fatal crashes citywide.
The Speed Safety Cameras started issuing warnings on Feb. 20, and the 30-day warning period ends today, March 21, 2018. Those drivers who exceeded the speed limit and were photographed by the cameras during this period received warning letters alerting them to their violation of the speed limit. The cameras are located in two locations on the corridor – westbound near NE 138th Avenue and eastbound near NE 33rd Avenue. The cameras on NE Marine Drive are the final cameras to be installed as part of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) initial pilot project.
Data collected during the warning period shows that the number of drivers speeding on NE Marine Drive has decreased substantially.
“Our Speed Safety Cameras have had an undeniable impact on reducing speeding. Over the past two years we’ve seen significant and continuous reductions on the four High Crash Corridors where the cameras are installed,” said Transportation Leah Treat. “As we work to make our roads safer for all users, Speed Safety Cameras will continue to be an important tool in our Vision Zero toolbox.”
The speed safety cameras on NE Marine Drive are the result of the 2015 passage of 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.
The NE Marine Drive cameras installation and activation marks the conclusion of the bureau’s initial speed safety camera pilot program which installed cameras on four High Crash Corridors – SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, SE Division Street, SE 122nd Avenue and NE Marine Drive. The first cameras in Portland were installed on SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway in the fall of 2016. The bureau will conduct speed studies as well as publish a public survey in the coming months as part of the program’s evaluation. The information gathered will guide future Speed Safety Camera implementation locations.
When people exceed the posted speed limit while driving past the safety cameras, the camera systems capture photos and video for review by Portland Police. An officer from the Portland Police Bureau will review violations before a citation is issued. Penalties are the same as a speeding violation initiated by any other means. The typical speeding citation in Oregon is a Class C violation (11 to 20 mph in excess of the speed limit) resulting in a $170 fine. 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.
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 the street warning drivers at least 100 yards in advance of the cameras in both directions. Speed reader board displays a driver’s current rate of speed providing immediate feedback in advance of the fixed speed safety camera. PBOT staff also conducted extensive outreach with community stakeholders to raise awareness of the changes along the two corridors, before the cameras were installed.
In addition to the new cameras, PBOT is delivering additional safety and maintenance projects on Marine Drive. For example, PBOT will install a traffic signal at NE Marine Drive and 122nd Avenue, and installation of rumble strips is planned as well.
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.