Photo radar speed cameras coming to four Portland streets - KPTV - FOX 12

Photo radar speed cameras coming to four Portland streets

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Slow down or say cheese.

New photo radar cameras will be going up along four of Portland’s most dangerous streets.

The city council approved spending 4.5 million dollars to buy eight cameras as a part of a pilot program aiming to slow down drivers on Wednesday afternoon.

Cameras will be installed on Southwest Beaverton Hillsdale Highway between 30th and Southwest 39th, Northeast Marine Drive, Southeast 122nd between Foster and Powell, and outer Southeast Division.

The streets have been designated as high crash corridors, where the majority of serious crashes occur.

According to PBOT, the pedestrian crash rate on SW Beaverton Hillsdale Highway is double the city-wide average.

Doug Rogers, who lives in the Hayhurst neighborhood of SW Portland, said the neighborhood has been pushing for safety improvements on the highway for years.

“It’s very scary because you’ve got a four foot margin there to walk in,” he said. “Traffic’s driving 50 miles an hour, literally six feet away from you.”

The speed limit on that stretch of Beaverton Hillsdale Highway is 40 miles per hour, but 45 percent of drivers go over the speed limit, according to PBOT.

Rogers is hopeful the cameras will slow drivers.

“Anybody who drives around Beaverton is aware of [their cameras] and they tend to be a little more modest and a little more controlled of their speed,” said Rogers. “We’d like to have that here. So this is a good thing.”

Kim Stone became a street safety advocate because her son, Joe, died after a car hit him while he was in a marked crosswalk at SE Division and 156th in 2013.

“The driver wasn’t speeding, but at the time, the speed limits were 40 mph out there and people drive practically highway speeds,” said Stone. “They’ve been lowered since then but it’s still not enough. I think these safety cameras will really wake people up.”

Portland’s speeding drivers have been photographed by cameras on a mobile photo radar van, but the van must change locations every few hours. Additionally, an officer is required to be present for any speeding tickets to be valid.

State lawmakers approved fixed cameras on high crash corridors last year.

The first set of cameras will be installed on SW Beaverton Hillsdale Highway this summer. Drivers will begin receiving citations August 1.

The cameras will be installed on the other corridors over the next year.

There will be warning signs and electronic speed limit message signs posted 100 yards before each camera site.

PBOT evaluates their effectiveness over three years, according to spokesman Dylan Rivera.

He said they expect the number of citations issued to go down over time, which they would consider a sign of success.

The city wants people to slow down to help save lives, he said.

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