Oregon’s first speed camera has had a very busy first month. And that’s great news for fans of safer streets.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation installed the camera on SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway on August 25th. It’s been issuing only warning since then but the agency announced this morning that as of tomorrow (9/24) the warnings end and the citations begin.
If the first month is any indication, the camera will be a huge success (unless people don’t mind getting tickets). PBOT says the presence of the camera (and associated signage) has already reduced top-end speeding by 93 percent (more stats below).
Portland’s fight against the epidemic of speeding on our streets is about to get real. Beginning August 1st of this year the city’s first unmanned fixed photo radar cameras will go into operation.
The new cameras will be installed by Xerox Corporation at four locations as per an ordinance adopted by Portland City Council yesterday (PDF). The ordinance calls for two cameras (facing each direction) that will be in operation 24 hours a day seven days a week at each location: Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway between 30th and 39th, SE 122nd between Foster and Powell, Marine Drive, and outer SE Division. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is focused on these locations because they are all on a list of “high crash corridors” that have a history of fatal crashes that’s at least 25 percent higher than normal.
When it comes to the rules of the road, there are a few facts of life — or, as sociologists might call them, social norms.
When people are in cars, they tend to drive over the speed limit if they feel it’s safe to do so and they can get away with it.
When people are on bikes, they tend to roll through stop signs if they feel it’s safe to do so and they can get away with it.
When people are on foot, they tend to cross the street whenever they feel it’s safe to do so and they can get away with it.