Enforcement

 

Portland Police will de-emphasize minor traffic violations in move toward racial justice

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on June 22nd, 2021 at 1:31 pm

Mayor Wheeler and Chief Lovell at today’s press conference.

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How to do better DUII enforcement: An interview with Columbia County Dep DA Kimberlyn Silverman

Lisa Caballero (Southwest Correspondent) by on March 23rd, 2021 at 10:14 am

Photo of crash scene where an intoxicated driver hit an ambulance on E. Burnside on March 6th, 2021.

An intoxicated driver crashed into an ambulance on E. Burnside on March 6th, 2021.
(Photo: Portland Police Bureau)

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Bill would allow non-police agent to review traffic camera citations

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on March 12th, 2021 at 2:18 pm

Speed camera on NE Marine Drive.
(Photo: PBOT)

A new bill in the Oregon Legislature would remove a major barrier to the use of automated photo radar cameras.

Current Oregon law requires that every citation issued by a fixed speed camera must be reviewed by a sworn police officer. While well-intentioned, this statute has led to delays in citation processing, higher personnel costs to do the work — and most unfortunately — a bureaucratic reluctance to install new cameras.

In Portland for example, despite clear benefits of fixed speed safety cameras, they are installed in only four locations. That’s just eight cameras in operation since being given the authority to use them in 2015. One big problem is our procurement process, but the other is strictly due to police personnel.

An August 2019 story in The Willamette Week titled, Speed Cameras Save Lives. So Why Does Portland Have Only Eight of Them?, explained the police staffing bottleneck:[Read more…]

Portland Police Association says tragic traffic toll with continue “without proactive enforcement”

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on February 22nd, 2021 at 1:07 pm

The president of the labor union that represents most of the Portland Police Bureau’s rank-and-file officers made a statement earlier this month warning people that a recent personnel shift by Police Chief Chuck Lovell would lead to dangerous conditions on our streets. I just realized today that that person – PPA President Brian Hunzeker — used an opinion piece he read on BikePortland to support his case. [Read more…]

Police Chief’s reorganization plan leaves no officers on traffic duty

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 15th, 2020 at 4:32 pm

A Traffic Division officer during an enforcement mission outside Vernon Elementary School in 2014.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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800 citations in 17 days: Tigard mayor connects dots from speeding to traffic deaths

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on August 31st, 2020 at 2:56 pm

Site of a “profound volume of citations” says Tigard’s mayor.

It only took 17 days for Tigard’s two new traffic enforcement cameras to rack up over 800 citations. And just a few minutes for that city’s mayor to draw a line between this rampant, normalized lawlessness and death.

The new cameras started issuing citations on July 14th at 72nd Avenue and at Hall Boulevard on Highway 99W in Tigard. By July 31st, the 72nd Ave location had snapped 662 potential violators.

At a Tigard City Council meeting on August 11th, Police Chief Kathy McAlpine recounted some of the dangerous behavior behind the numbers. McAlpine said the cameras caught one person doing 74 mph in a 35 mph zone and in more than one occasion drivers have been cited multiple times at the same intersection — including one person who was caught going one way and then caught again on their way back. Another driver was dinged four separate times in the 17 days. [Read more…]

PPB traffic stop data shows Black Portlanders are overrepresented

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on August 27th, 2020 at 1:55 pm

H/T Latisha Jenson, Willamette Week

Traffic Division HQ in St. Johns.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In the first eight months of 2020, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers made 20,990 traffic stops. According to police data, between New Year’s Day and August 1st, 17.7% of the people stopped were Black — a significant overrepresentation of Portland’s Black population which was 5.8% as of 2019. Over the same time period, 64.9% of those stopped were white, a number that underrepresents that demographic by by over 12% (whites make up about 77% of Portland’s population).

Between April 1st and August 1st, Black people accounted for 12 of the 57 people (21.2%) stopped by the PPB who weren’t driving.

These numbers come to light less than a week after police in Kenosha, Wisconsin shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back as he stood in the street outside his SUV and amid a tense public dialogue about systemic racism and nightly protests against racist polices and police brutality. [Read more…]

PBOT splits with Portland Police Bureau on crosswalk law enforcement program

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on July 22nd, 2020 at 12:12 pm

Former Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and a PBOT staffer stand with former PPB Traffic Division Captain David Hendrie at a crosswalk enforcement mission in 2013.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has ended a 15-year partnership with the Portland Police Bureau that centered around the enforcement of Oregon’s crosswalk law.

Since 2005 PBOT has conducted “pedestrian crosswalk education and enforcement actions” with the PPB. But in recent years conversations around the enforcement of traffic laws and concerns about racial profiling by police officers have intensified.

At a meeting of the City of Portland Pedestrian Advisory Committee last night, PBOT Traffic Safety Section Manager Dana Dickman said City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly asked the bureau to stop working with police.

“There had been concerns about secondary violations,” Dickman told the committee. “People were being pulled over for failure-to-yield, but during the stop they are cited for lack of insurance or a suspended license. And then the citations rack up… There was a concern we are potentially bringing people into a much more serious situation, impacting them financially, and bringing them into a legal situation in a way we didn’t intend… Our commissioner and community members felt that was potentially punitive.”[Read more…]

Safe Routes org drops ‘enforcement’ from organizing framework

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on June 9th, 2020 at 1:03 pm

A Portland police officer rides by Vernon School in the Alberta neighborhood during a 2014 enforcement action.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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Scofflaw car drivers are keeping police very busy

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on May 19th, 2020 at 1:47 pm

The driver of this car seen sliding around on the Fremont Bridge was ultimately arrested and charged with 2 counts of reckless driving, 2 counts of reckless endangering and 2 counts of disorderly conduct.
(Photo: YouTube)

Whether it’s the Coronavirus Effect, a general sense of lawlessness, lack of concern about consequences, or all of the above — the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division has been very busy with dangerous drivers recently.

You’ve likely seen the headlines about a spike in speeding. This is happening for the aforementioned reasons and because the pandemic has opened up more space on the roads. Any armchair traffic engineer will tell you that when people have more space to operate a vehicle they will use it to go faster (like 107 mph in a 45 mph zone) and take more chances.

Now we have hard data from the PPB about how this phenomenon is playing out locally. [Read more…]