News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office
Posted: Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, 12:08 p.m.
The Happy Valley Police Department responded to citizen concerns about pedestrian safety with an Aug. 8 "crosswalk enforcement detail" targeting drivers at two high-risk intersections.
"We focused on two crosswalks that have generated citizen complaints in the recent past," explained Happy Valley Police Chief Scott Anderson. Deputies trained their enforcement efforts on the crosswalk on King Road at Rolling Meadows in front of Happy Valley Elementary, as well as the crosswalk on 152nd Avenue north of Frye Street.
The enforcement detail employed a bit of creativity. "We used volunteer 'decoys' and asked them to attempt to cross the street normally," said Chief Anderson. "Traffic deputies from Happy Valley and Wilsonville then stopped the most egregious violators, who clearly proceeded after our decoys had entered the roadway within the crosswalk. Most drivers knew why they were stopped and understood the ticket. "
Anderson doesn't use the word " egregious" lightly. "I also acted as decoy for a few minutes," he said, "and one car was cited while I tried to cross the road in full uniform."
The fine for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk is $260.
"Several citizens on foot thanked us for enforcing the crosswalk laws, saying they'd seen violations in the past," said Anderson. "School is about to start, and there will be kids using crosswalks soon. Two pedestrians have been killed this year already in Happy Valley, although not in crosswalks. But of the traffic complaints we get, crosswalk violators are a common subject."
Anderson said nine out of 10 drivers obeyed the law at crosswalks. During the detail, Chief Anderson, two deputies and a sergeant issued 18 crosswalk citations and 3 crosswalk written warnings -- and also caught 3 drivers driving while suspended, 1 driving while uninsured, and 1 engaged in a cell-phone violation. They also issued a warning to a driver who disobeyed a stop sign.
Anderson reminded drivers of the laws Happy Valley was enforcing during the detail: "If you see a pedestrian in or at a crosswalk, you must stop and allow them to proceed. And you must stop and remain stopped if they are in your traffic lane or an adjacent traffic lane.
"Hopefully, this detail proves to be a good reminder for all drivers. It only takes a few seconds to allow a pedestrian to cross -- and it's worth it to avoid a crash or a fine."
Two Clackamas County cities -- Happy Valley and Wilsonville -- contract with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office to provide municipal police services.
Photo: A Wilsonville PD Traffic Deputy and a volunteer "decoy" at work during the crosswalk detail, which was organized and executed by Happy Valley PD's traffic unit.
Sergeant Brian Jensen
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office