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Police make 32 traffic stops in three hours during operation in downtown Lake Oswego.

Lake Oswego police made more than 30 traffic violation stops during a recent pedestrian safety operation in the downtown area.

The Lake Oswego Police Department conducted the operation with a decoy pedestrian on B Avenue and First Street on Sept. 4 to educate drivers and pedestrians about right-of-way laws. The effort was funded by a grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Impact.

LOPD Sgt. Tom Hamann said the police made 32 traffic stops, 29 of which were either crosswalk warnings or crosswalk citations.

"When they do those details, they have a cone set out at a certain distance. Based on what we know about people's perception and reaction times, essentially, the cone is there to say that once when the pedestrian steps out into the crosswalk, so long as the driver is beyond the cone, then they should be able to perceive the pedestrian and have time to stop if they're going the speed limit," Hamann said. "If somebody is beyond that cone, often (the driver) will end up receiving a citation if they commit the violation. If (the pedestrian is) past that cone, like closer than the cone, then often they will get a warning because it's not really possible for them to safely stop before they get to the crosswalk."

By law, drivers and other motorists have to yield to people waiting to cross or are crossing the street at a designated crosswalk.

An offense is committed if the driver doesn't stop or remain stopped for a pedestrian when they are in the lane or adjacent to the lane where a driver is traveling or turning.

Hamann said sometimes there is more than one violation given per stop. There was one violation each for the following citations or warnings: cell phone use, failure to stop at a traffic control device (like a stop sign or red light), violation of speed limit, lack of seatbelt use, and no proof of insurance.

Hamann said 32 stops in three hours is a high number.

"The biggest thing is that people need to keep their eyes up (and) on the road and pay attention to what's going on around them so they can see a pedestrian and stop and avoid a serious crash," he said. "It just comes down to not being distracted and just having your eyes up."


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