Drivers’ behaviors near pedestrians astonish seasoned officers

It’s flabbergasting to watch oblivious drivers as they pass through a Pedestrian Crosswalk Action zone. Take a look …

This driver zooms past PBOT “Pedestrian Crosswalk Action” decoy Sharon white, only moments later to be “educated” about courtesy – and Oregon law – by a police officer presenting a citation.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

As regular readers are aware, East Portland News continues to provide coverage of “Pedestrian Crosswalk Action” missions by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Traffic Division. We cover them all, because your safety is at stake.

“The purpose of these missions is to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and Oregon traffic laws, and emphasize summertime safety,” said PBOT Public Information Officer Diane Dulken.

A pedestrian feels the breeze of a passing SUV, when the driver speeds up instead of stopping for her.

On June 23, on NE Glisan Street, across from Multnomah University at NE 87th Avenue, the Bureaus held a crosswalk education and enforcement action.

For most of the mission, PBOT’s Sharon White reprised her familiar role as the “designated walker”. However, because it’s just up the street from the Montavilla Community Center, and across from the university, this crosswalk is used my many pedestrians of all ages.

A PPB Traffic Division officer goes after a driver in need of some education.

Even though it was the start of summer, and drivers should be anticipating seeing more children and families out during the day going to and from the park, pool, community center, library, and other local destinations – many drivers apparently were “too busy” – actually, too distracted – to notice pedestrians in the striped walkway.

At times, PPB Traffic Division officers, monitoring the crossings, shook their heads in dismay at the inattentive behavior demonstrated by oblivious drivers.

After seeing minor infractions, officers warned drivers of their observed behavior. Other drivers needing more strict “education” were issued citations.

Astonishingly, the driver of this SUV gestures to the PPB Traffic Division officer to “wait a minute” – while she completes her text message!

The citations issued during the four-hour mission broke down in these categories:

  • Failure to stop and remain stopped for pedestrian (25)
  • Cell phone use (12)
  • Violation of speed (4)
  • No proof of insurance (4)
  • No operator’s license (2)
  • Passing stopped vehicle at a marked crosswalk (2)
  • Driving While Suspended (1)
  • Driving While Revoked – Misdemeanor (1)
  • Misuse of special left turn lane (1)

 

A driver is about to learn the cost of not paying attention to crosswalks from the PPB Traffic Division officer.

And, officers also issued six warnings for “Failure to stop and remain stopped for pedestrian”.

It’s still summertime! There are still people crossing streets! Keep an eye out for pedestrians and bicyclists.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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