July 16, 2013
For more information:
- ODOT work zone safety - Sally Ridenour, 503-986-3359
- ODOT Outer Powell project information - Don Hamilton, 503-731-8265
- Portland Police Bureau - Sgt. Pete Simpson, 503-828-0830
PORTLAND: Motorists traveling through the construction work zone on U.S. 26/Powell Boulevard
from SE 111th Avenue to SE 176th Avenue in east Portland will see signs announcing “photo radar in use.” The Oregon Department of Transportation, in partnership with Portland Police Bureau, is using the technology for speed enforcement in the work zone.
This is the second time ODOT has contracted with Portland Police Bureau
to provide photo radar enforcement in a highway work zone. The legislatively-approved project will assess public support of using photo radar to help make highway work zones safer. The state must look for additional tools to supplement on-going efforts to improve work zone safety. The purpose of this project is to determine the effectiveness of this tool and to improve safety. (See the project fact sheet
for more information.)
Worker and motorist safety in work zones is a top priority for ODOT and its law enforcement and construction industry partners. One of the leading causes of work zone crashes is motorists driving too fast for conditions. In 2011, eleven people died in crashes in Oregon work zones.
Photo radar is used successfully for speed enforcement by several Oregon cities including Portland. Studies show that the percentage of vehicles exceeding the speed limit reduces when photo radar is used. In ODOT’s 2009 photo radar demonstration, researchers came to a similar conclusion (see the research report
The photo radar enforcement for this project will be similar to what Portland Police Bureau has been doing for the last decade. Photo radar will only be in operation when construction workers are present in the work zone under this demonstration project.
Citations are $160 or more depending on the violation, but fines double in work zones to $320 or more. Fines are designed to maximize the deterrent effect of photo radar. All money collected goes through normal citation channels. None of the money goes to ODOT. The goal is to get drivers to voluntarily slow down in work zones, not penalize people.
Tips for driving in a work zone:
- Pay attention and drive cautiously.
- Orange is your clue. Slow down when you see orange signs, barrels, cones and barricades.
- Don’t tailgate. Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you.