Pedestrians hit by cars are usually struck in the crosswalk, with the signal on their side.
This is grim news, as the most-cited advice for walkers is to use the marked crosswalks when crossing the street. Pedestrian deaths are already on the rise, and in Oregon, Portland in particular is having a problem with traffic fatalities this year.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation has identified several high-crash corridors, and is implementing a safety plan based on the “Three E’s”:
- Enforcement : Police stings enforcing pedestrian crossings – they’ve been proven to work for long after the cops leave.
- Engineering : National studies show 46% reduction in pedestrian crashes with the addition of pedestrian islands. The Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB) crosswalk warning systems have been very effective at reducing crashes– but these are still relatively scarce.
- Education: The city is working on Safe Routes to School and Share the Road programs, particularly in Southeast Portland, which has gotten more attention recently for gruesome and deadly pedestrian collisions.
The Portland Police Bureau is conducting a highly visible traffic operation starting today, targeting drivers, cyclists and pedestrians who break the law.