PORTLAND, Ore. -- With each flash, the new speed cameras along Southeast Division Street issue a statement that will become a $160 ticket for a speeding driver.
The City of Portland put up the cameras after five people were killed last year on a two mile stretch of Division Street that stretches from 124th to 156th avenues. Four people who were killed were walking; one was driving.
Three others suffered significant injuries.
For the past month, Portland issued only warning tickets. Starting Wednesday, they were real.
But, during the daytime we did not see many drivers get caught.
We watched for 15 minutes without a single flash. No drivers were going above 30 mph, which is fast enough to get a ticket.
It’s a dramatic change for what was once a fast and dangerous roadway.
“I just wish people would learn to drive. It’s not a race track and stuff,” said Nicole Cramlete.
She’s one of many people who mostly walk on Division Street and worry about fast drivers.
“I had a friend who walked around here and she got hit one time and she had to get in a wheelchair and everything,” she said.
The speed limit used to be 35 mph, but drivers routinely went faster than 45 mph.
Now the speed limit is 30 mph.
“If we can get people to slow down, we can save lives,” said John Brady from the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
Not everyone likes the lower speed limit. Mario Massey wants more of a focus on people walking out in front of cars.
“Get the pedestrians under control. The pedestrians should still watch for cars when they cross the street I think that'll help with the accidents,” he said.
Others, including Roger Bell, who has lived on the East Side his whole life, say the lower speed is a welcome change.
“It’s a good thing that everybody is slowing down,” he said.
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