Another dead pedestrian in Portland @ 445AM, was wearing all black, commentary and action request

I’m getting fatigued by all the traffic violence in Portland. Once again condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. This is the second pedestrian death in 2 days. This would have also been a tragic event for the driver as well. Peace and healing to that driver.

UPDATE: Pedestrian was reportedly dressed all in black and walking in traffic lane. Driver stayed at scene and cooperated with investigators. Shows importance of pedestrians using common sense and common safety precautions. Also shows need for improved pedestrian infrastructure to reduce vehicle and pedestrian collisions.

Speeds are up as drivers know there is essentially no enforcement. Ghost vehicles without license plates are everywhere as no one is enforcing the basic requirement that cars have license plates, current registration and liability insurance. License plates help with identification after “hit and runs” , reckless driving and prevents criminals from using untraceable vehicles for crimes. When will we restore our traffic division and institute speed cameras? A city without enforcement of traffic laws is one committed to pedestrian, cyclist and driver deaths. Sad commentary.

If you are angered by this please call and leave a voicemail with Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office at 503-823-4120 You can call anytime of day or night.

I would recommend leaving a voicemail with Joann Hardesty as well (council member who is charge of the POBT) but her office is so dysfunctional that their voicemail is chronically “full”. I guess she does not value constituent’s feedback.

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The Car Worship Culture has us all immediately blaming the ped. for his death, wearing all black, etc. OK, there’s some validity to this – the guy’s stupid, or high, or drunk… BUT the law is otherwise. ORS 811.100, the Basic Speed Rule, requires drivers to slow down to the extent they need to in order to cope with conditions such as weather, visibility, road conditions, the presence of drunk/high/black-clothed pedestrians, etc. In other words, if you’re going too fast to see a person – or deer, or fallen limb, etc. – in the road at night, you’re driving too fast, legally speaking. The speed “limit” is the maximum allowed speed, not an entitlement. Of course, this law and others protecting pedestrian and cyclist rights are mere annoyances to drivers and police alike, and go unenforced. Every local report of pedestrian/cyclist death leads with what the ped/cyclist did wrong, then ends up saying “the driver remained at the scene and cooperated…” which is cop-speak for “nothing will be done about this.”
Again, let me reiterate, as a practical matter, peds/cyclists should make their own safety their own responsibility, because one obviously cannot rely on the law or drivers to protect them. But let’s not be so quick to excuse pedestrian/cyclist deaths by pointing to the behavior of the deceased while ignoring the responsibility of the driver, which requires drivers to slow down enough to accomodate the world around them as it is, drunks, idiots, and people wearing all-black included.

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I typically am not a fan of creating new crimes for the books (criminalizing an act to fix a social problem is like hitting a screw with a hammer). But I think it’s past time Oregon had a vehicular manslaughter law.

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The problem is new laws won’t solve anything. With the demise of the Portland Police Bureau (thanks City Council!) and the DA Mike “I don’t prosecute anyone” Schmidt passing new laws will do diddly squat. We don’t even enforce the laws we currently have on the books.

Your statement seems more than a bit hyperbolic to me. The PPB is still there and their budget is nearly identical to what it was 2 years ago (an historic high at the time). Their union has certainly run a public disinformation campaign to convince folks they’ve been defunded, but that’s hardly the case.

Schmidt decriminalized a few protesting cases. Otherwise, he’s still prosecuting everything else almost exactly the same as his predecessors (much to my chagrin). What makes you think he isn’t? Do you have some sources?

The PPB have deprioritized traffic enforcement lately, but they’re still showing up to major auto wrecks as far as I’ve seen. Do you have different information?

Where did you get the information that PPB was gone and that Schmidt wasn’t prosecuting anyone?

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Karstan,
Yeah, a bit hyperbolic but I am frustrated. “Degradation of the PPB” instead of “demise of the PPB” would be more accurate.
However, there are now ZERO traffic officers on patrol. Yes, there are officers who respond to crashes but that is it. No dedicated traffic officers on patrol duty.
Here is an article (granted its just the bike portland blog but does discuss it)