WOOD VILLAGE, Ore. -- Deputies stopped and cited dozens of drivers during a pedestrian safety sting in Multnomah County Tuesday.
The sting focused on drivers who didn't stop to let decoy pedestrians cross Northeast Halsey at 230th Court, in Wood Village. The area is near a school zone, TriMet bus stops and school bus stops.
"You've almost got to walk a mile to get to a crosswalk from here," said Sgt. Brent Ritchie. "People are constantly crossing the street here and (the speed limit is) 35 miles per hour, though a lot of drivers go between 45 and 50 miles per hour."
Rhonda Recknagle knows that now. After deputies pulled her over, she got a warning and a new perspective from behind the wheel.
"I know that I need to be more aware of the pedestrians that are going to be crossing from here on out," said Recknagle. "I hope that all the other drivers will, too, since school's starting and there's going to be a lot of children around."
Deputies estimated that in a 35 mph area, it takes drivers 200 feet to stop safely for a pedestrian, even if they're driving ten miles over the speed limit. Taking that into account, deputies set out orange cones, 200-feet from the pedestrian crossing.
Decoys waited until drivers hit those cones before attempting to cross the street, in an effort to give drivers ample reaction and stop time. When school in the Reynolds School District begins next week, deputies fear kids in that area will be far less concerned about giving drivers fair warning.
"A kid will see their friend they haven't seen in three months and just take off across the street," said Ritchie.
During their mission, deputies issued 23 warnings and 17 citations for failing to stop for a pedestrian. Deputies gave all the drivers an "Oregon Crosswalk Laws" educational brochure and the option to attend a driver safety class, instead of paying a fine.