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With busy summer months ahead, police say it's important for drivers to stay alert to the roads and crosswalks

PMG FILE PHOTO - Pedestrian safety will be a focus of a targeted enforcement effort on tap by the Newberg-Dundee Police Department.

The Newberg-Dundee Police Department will be on high alert for various traffic and pedestrian violations in downtown Newberg throughout the summer season.

According to a press release from the NDPD, there will be targeted enforcements in the downtown corridor on First Street between Main and River streets.

Police officers will be focusing specifically on improper left and right turn violations, as well as vehicle and pedestrian crosswalk violations.

"This focused enforcement effort is designed to address an inordinate amount of violations being observed in the downtown corridor and to enhance traffic safety for everyone enjoying our downtown this summer season," the release reads.

Enforcement efforts will continue at varying times throughout the summer months in both Newberg and on Highway 99W through Dundee.

NDPD Public Information Officer Brian Hagen said the summer weather brings more pedestrians and motorists to the area, usually visiting wine country.

He said Newberg's downtown area also has a significant pedestrian presence and Dundee has itself experienced a growth in pedestrian traffic, which is why the NDPD will focus attention there as well.

"There are numerous marked crosswalks through downtown that are separate from the major intersections, meaning they are not illuminated with traffic lights," Hagen said. "This makes it so important for drivers to keep their heads up and speeds down to anticipate these pedestrians entering the roadway in all types of crossing areas. Drivers all too often think they are 'safe' to send that text, or just have to pass 'one more car' prior to getting to the next stop light. If a pedestrian happens to be crossing while your head is down in your phone, the consequences can be dire."

Hagen also said the enforcement will apply to pedestrians and bicyclists.

"I am shocked by how many people step off the curb into traffic with their head in their phone," he said.  

Hagen said the minimum fine for cell phone use and improper turns is $265. From there, fines can grow greatly based on repeat offenses or other mitigating circumstances, such as a crash.

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