Oregon warns of rising pedestrian fatalities

Oregon warns of rising pedestrian fatalities

Oregon warns of rising pedestrian fatalities


by Teresa Blackman, kgw.com Staff


Posted on November 28, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 28 at 12:52 PM

SALEM – The state wants to raise awareness about pedestrian fatalities in Oregon, warning that deadly incidents involving cars are increasing.

So far this year, 52 pedestrians have been killed in accidents involving vehicles, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation. That’s already up from last year, even before December has begun.

“The total pedestrian fatalities in Oregon for 2011 were 47 and we have one month remaining in 2012. Our goal is to do our part in keeping this number from rising anymore this year and to educate our community,” said Officer Mike Rowe, with the Beaverton Police Department.

The ODOT reports showed that many factors have contributed to the deadly incidents, including distractions and alcohol use. It also listed as a common problem that both drivers and pedestrians sometimes disregard the rules of the road.

“It is just as important for pedestrians and bicyclists to also take steps to make sure they are safe while out and about. Bicyclists when on a public roadway are required to obey all traffic laws as if they were driving a motor vehicle. Pedestrians are also required to obey traffic control devices and enter the roadway in a way that will not cause a hazard to vehicles,” Rowe said.

Law enforcement officials said they want to educate drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists on the laws they must follow to insure their safety while on the roads and sidewalks of our city. 

They shared this list of specific laws in the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) for pedestrians that if they violate they could receive a traffic citation:

ORS 814.020 pedestrian fail to obey traffic control device:

  • A pedestrian commits this offense if they fail to obey any traffic control device specifically applicable to the pedestrian.

ORS 814.040 pedestrian failure to yield to vehicle:

  • A pedestrian commits this offense if they suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and move into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
  • Fails to yield the right of way to a vehicle upon a roadway when the pedestrian is crossing the roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.  More: Pedestrian laws

Pedestrians can also do the following to stay safe:  

  • Wear bright or reflective clothing
  • Don't wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while walking
  • Use crosswalks and sidewalks whenever possible ï,• Remain alert and don't assume that cars are going to stop
  • Make eye contact with the motorist before crossing