Drivers ‘educated’ by cops on Holgate

You’ll be surprised to see how many drivers were stopped for bullying pedestrians, at this outer East Portland crosswalk – all in just 90 minutes …

Even with signs and flags warning of this “Crosswalk Education and Enforcement Action” on SE Holgate Boulevard, crossing the street was treacherous in this very-clearly-marked crosswalk.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

At the well-marked pedestrian crosswalk on SE Holgate Boulevard, connecting the Holgate Branch Library and Marysville Elementary School, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers set up for a “Crosswalk Education and Enforcement Action” on November 28 from noon until 1:30 p.m.

Frequently, as an anonymous Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) “designated walker” signaled her intention to cross the street, a driver cut her off – sometimes forcing her to leap backward out of traffic.

Along with other officers working this mission, Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division Sgt. Ty Engstrom keeps an eye on drivers, and pedestrians, at this crosswalk.

“Pedestrians are not protected nearly as much is a person is in a vehicle; so, when we’re sent to a collision between the two, many times, the result is life-threatening,” remarked PPB Traffic Division Sgt. Ty Engstrom, while watching the intersection and sitting on his patrol motorcycle.

“When it comes to crashes between those on foot and cars, there are two sides to the equation,” Engstrom told East Portland News. “We’re here talking with vehicle drivers about what they can do to be more safe; and also, we’re letting pedestrians know what they can do to increase their own safety.”

This Honda Element zooming past the mission’s “designated walker” catches the eye of Sgt. Ty Engstrom …

… and the sergeant rolls out to stop the driver …

… and Sgt. Engstrom educates the driver about crosswalk safety.

“Whether it is marked or unmarked, every intersection is a legal crosswalk under Oregon law; drivers must stop – and stay stopped – while the pedestrian is in the travel lane, or the adjacent lane,” reminded Engstrom.

“And, pedestrians should use body language, to let drivers know they intend to cross the street,” the sergeant said. “Added visibility with light-colored or reflective clothing, and crossing at correct locations, will also increase their safety.”

The “designated walker” jumps backward to avoid being hit by this driver …

… and soon meets this PPB Traffic Division officer.

The driver of a Honda whizzed past a pedestrian in the crosswalk, and Engstrom drove out to stop the motorist.

Afterward, PBOT Public Information Officer Dylan Rivera reported that a total of 35 people were “educated” during the 90-minute action.

“Although 18 citations were written, Safety Education classes were offered to 14 drivers, and three warnings were issued,” Rivera said.

The violations included:

  • Fail to stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk: 11 citations, 3 warnings
  • Cell phone: 3 citations
  • Driving uninsured: 1 citation
  • Failure to Carry proof of insurance: 1 cite, 1 warning

To learn more about rights and responsibilities involved in crossing streets in Oregon, and to view the results of previous enforcement, see this PBOT webpage: CLICK HERE.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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