Speed cameras go live on high-crash area of Division St. - KPTV - FOX 12

Speed cameras go live on high-crash area of Division St.

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Drivers on portions of Southeast Division Street in Portland will notice a new lower speed limit, and now the city is unveiling a new tool to make sure drivers slow down.

Speed cameras were activated Monday morning, the latest move to slow down traffic following a deadly year on the street that saw another death this weekend.

Drivers seeing the camera flash as they speed by at Division near 151st Avenue can expect a letter in their mailbox. Those caught speeding down Division will get a warning starting Monday, then in a month, the city will start issuing tickets to those who break the speed limit.

The street had a 35 mph speed limit until city councilors passed an emergency ordinance last week to reduce the speed limit to 30 mph.

City and county leaders came together Monday to turn on the cameras, with City Commissioner Dan Saltzman putting the finishing touches on a sign warning drivers of the photo enforcement ahead.

Many safety officials claim this stretch of Division is the most dangerous road in Portland. Over the weekend, a woman walking on Division was killed a few blocks east of Monday’s ceremony, and five people lost their lives on the road last year, including four pedestrians and a driver.

Over the last ten years, 13 people have died on this stretch of road, and there have been nearly 120 serious injuries.

Family members who lost loved ones came out to support the new cameras Monday.

Kristi Finney-Dunn’s son Dustin Finney was riding his bike when he was hit and killed in 2011, and she believes slower speeds could have prevented the tragedy.

“Although my son was killed by a drunk driver, I wonder, you know, if the driver had been going the speed limit, or lower, possibly my son would have survived,” she said.

Joe Stone was hit and killed while walking across Division in 2013, and his mother Kim said the change in the speed limit has been needed and will hopefully help prevent future accidents.

“This has been a long time coming. We’re so thankful to the city for stepping up,” she said. “Unfortunately, people have lost their lives in this street, way too many, but we’re so happy now that things are really happening. We’re going to get drivers to slow down.”

The Portland Police Bureau will review every speed violation photo before a citation is issued.

The city says identical cameras installed last year on the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway have drastically reduced excessive speeding by 90 percent.

The city has also installed speed cameras along another high-crash area, Southeast 122nd Avenue, which will begin issuing warnings Monday as well.

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