The speed limit on residential streets was reduced from 25 to 20 miles per hour on Sunday, the day before PBOT was set to unveil 'Struck' public awareness campaign.

KOIN 6 NEWS - A PBOT worker updates a speed limit sign in Portland.Portland's new residential speed limit of 20 miles per hour went into effect Sunday.

The city began changing the speed limit signs on neighborhood streets in February after the City Council voted to lower the speed limit on residential streets from 25 mph in January.

"Five miles an hour may not sound like much to you, but when it comes to reducing the severity of crashes it's actually very big," Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat says.

Reducing the speed from 25 to 20 makes it twice as likely a person will survive a crash, according to transportation officials, based on safety studies.

Toward the end of February, PBOT began handing out free yard signs to raise awareness about the new speed limit. The signs read, "20 is plenty."

The first 900 signs had been replaced by Friday, but the goal is to have another 1,100 signs installed within the next few months. While not every residential street will have a speed limit sign, the 20 mph speed limit applies on all residential streets.

Residential streets make up about 70 percent of Portland's street network. The reduction is part of the Vision Zero Action Plan the council has approved to eliminate all fatal and serious injury crashes in the city by 2025.

As part of the plan, on Treat and other transportation officials are scheduled to unveil its first major public safety education campaign. It will be the largest public education campaign ever undertaken by PBOT.

According to PBOT, the campaign, called "Struck," will feature a forceful, attention-grabbing video public service announcement to convey the impact deadly crashes have on human life: The life of the crash victim, and the life of the driver behind the wheel. The campaign will launch with a TV spot during the NCAA Championship, on strategically placed billboards, buses, movie theaters and social media channels.

The campaign was developed by Borders Perrin Norrander, a Portland-based ad agency.

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Reporter Jim Redden contributed to this story.

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