Portland is an ideal place for walking, and people throughout the city do so for recreational purposes as well as to do errands, and even as a way of getting to and from work. Whether you walk out of choice or necessity, there are plenty of sidewalks, trails, and walking paths available to choose from. While walking is an inherently healthy activity, having to contend with traffic and cross busy intersections can be challenging. Knowing the rules of pedestrian safety is something that pedestrians need to be aware of, and drivers also need to know and follow these rules too.
Failing to look out for and acknowledge the rights of pedestrians on sidewalks and in intersections can result in serious and potentially fatal pedestrian and crosswalk injuries. In order to prevent these types of injuries, Portland police conduct periodic sting operations, ticketing drivers who are caught disregarding pedestrian crosswalk laws. Drivers face tickets and fines, as law enforcement works aggressively towards reducing the high number of pedestrian accidents.
Conducting Crosswalks Stings
Each school year, Portland police step up efforts at preventing pedestrian injuries and deaths by conducting crosswalk stings. With the goal of raising public awareness while catching drivers who violate the state crosswalk laws, officers position themselves at area crosswalks and use a police decoy to cross the intersection. They then watch and wait for drivers to respond. According to a September 2015 TV news report on crosswalk sting operations by local ABC affiliate KATU, Portland police hope these stings will reduce the currently high number of pedestrian fatalities each year to zero. Stings happen about once a month or so in different areas throughout Portland. Drivers caught violating crosswalk laws during the sting are ticketed and fined $260. During the September 2015 sting, which took place at a crosswalk in front of Menlo Park Elementary School, officers ticketed 14 drivers in an hour and a half for failing to stop for a pedestrian attempting to cross.
Portland Crosswalk Laws
According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, roughly 1,000 people have been killed in pedestrian accidents within the last five years. The majority of these accidents occur as the result of drivers failing to yield to pedestrians. It is important for both drivers and pedestrians to understand their legal responsibilities when it comes to crosswalks and intersections. Under Oregon law, a crosswalk exists at any intersection, regardless of whether the crosswalk is actually painted on the road or not. Crosswalks also exist mid-block, between intersections, but only when the crosswalk lines have been painted. Drivers can do their part to reduce pedestrian fatalities by following these rules for crosswalk safety:
- Stop and remain stopped until any pedestrians have cleared the driver’s lane as well as the next lane of traffic;
- If you are making a turn, stop your vehicle and wait for any pedestrians to cross your lane and at least six feet into the next lane before making a turn;
- Stop and remain stopped at school crosswalks, and follow any instructions given by the crossing guard; and
- If a pedestrian is blind or disabled, stop until the person is completely across the road and safely on the curb.
Contact a Portland Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Understanding your rights and responsibilities when it comes to crosswalks can help to ensure everyone’s safety. If you or someone you loved has been hit by a car or sustained a crosswalk injury, contact an experienced Portland personal injury attorney today. At the Johnston Law Firm, we provide aggressive legal representation to ensure our clients get the compensation they deserve. Contact our office today at 503-546-3167 for a free case review.