Pedestrian Killed in Portland

Another pedestrian killed. Hit and run. My condolences to the family of the victim.

The lack of enforcement of any type has turned Portland into a “failed municipality”. Law breakers and criminals know there will likely be zero repercussions for their actions. It’s like the Wild West of yesteryear. Very Sad. Stay safe.

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I quit walking in my neighborhood as often (used to be daily) as I used to because of the majority of car drivers ignoring the rules. Once upon a time seeing someone blow through a stop sign was rare. Now it occurs many many times as there’s no enforcement of basic traffic laws anymore and the drivers know it.
Being a driver myself I do stop, I do look both directions, I do try and drive the limit (much to the consternation of drivers behind me). There’s just no excuse for their behavior.

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I frequently drive this section at night returning from my kid’s soccer practice. More times than not, I’d say, there’s a hard-to-see pedestrian crossing the road. Definitely could use a couple lighted & signaled crosswalks around here.

Police should be making contact with occupied derelict vehicles with registration violations to check license, registration and insurance so that uninsured vehicles and those in possession of an unlicensed driver o public right of way can be towed away before they’re involved in incidents.

PBOT should also be more aggressively towing away vehicles with significant lapse in registration so they can’t be claimed back without showing proof of insurance.

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What do vehicles with registration violations have to do with these two deaths Chopwatch?

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Jonathan,
Maybe what he is referring to is the sense of “vehicular lawlessness” that has been fomented in Portland due to the city government’s decision to essentially not enforce traffic violations or parking regulations. I don’t think registration and insurance checks need to necessarily be conducted by police but they need to be done. I’ve been riding my bike a lot during the pandemic and I cannot believe the number of junked cars, cars with no license plates and those with long expired registrations that abound in the the streets of Portland. Even when I drive around Portland I feel the chance of me getting a ticket for speeding or running a red light is basically zero. This is not good.

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I understand that. My point is, unless Chopwatch knows who was driving the cars that hit these folks and what type of condition their cars were in, it feels like he’s just blaming a cause to push an unrelated agenda.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree with you that a general sense of lawlessness around vehicle use is making our street culture a lot more dangerous. I just want to be careful that we don’t paint with such a broad brush that we end up jumping to the wrong assumptions/conclusions that unfairly paint certain types of people as being guilty for something they didn’t do. (this is an issue I’ve discussed privately with Chopwatch as well, regarding assumptions about people living on the street and theft just FYI).

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What does this tragedy have to do with “occupied derelict vehicles”? I get that’s your hobby horse, that and posting about homeless people in general. But this was a person driving a car, who killed someone and drove off, there is no indication it was an unregistered or “derelict vehicle”.

I think I understand to some extent. It is crazy to see a nearly destroyed car without a muffler, windows etc, zoom down the street. And the fact that this is generally accepted does indicate that we are in a bad place.

But if you just focus on the symptoms produced by poverty, racism, poor governance and deadly car-centric culture, you’ll never solve the underlying issues. And in the process criminalize and brutalize people without any real improvement in the situation.

It’s the difference between seeing a person in trouble and wishing they would just go away or not exist versus thinking about how they could be provided the services they need. More often than not with your posts I hear the former not the latter.

How can we reduce the number of dangerous cars and drivers on the road? How do we increase the percentage of cars that are registered and insured? How can we get to a point where people are forced to live in their cars? We’re discovering that we can’t police, fine, imprison our way out of these issues. Hearing the constant drumbeat of aggressive enforcement from you is annoying.

Steve,
I am guessing you are addressing your comments to chopwatch? I think it’s great you can express your opinion but I think it’s better to keep it more on the issues and less on the person.

tfcandiit, of corse i’m responding to Chopwatch, it says it right there in the post.

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The issue, just as Jonathan said “this is an issue I’ve discussed privately with Chopwatch”. It is something they consistently do on this site’s comments.

In civilized society, common procedures for vehicular incidents involving vehicles who have failed the duty of driver is for an officer to respond to the address of registered owner.

So, preventive and proactive policing which involves police making contact with occupied vehicles that do not properly display plates, do not have valid registration encourages keeping registration information up to date and it provides opportunity for police intervention to violation of mandatory liability insurance coverage requirements as well as discovery of any outstanding warrants.

Lack of liability insurance naturally encourages failure of duty of driver. When vehicle registration information isn’t kept up to date, then it makes tracking of incidents after the vehicle has fled scene much more difficult. Traceability encourages drivers to behave.

So it is all relevant.

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Steve, I disagree that we can’t get out of these issues through enforcement. Portland has never made a serious attempt to even try.

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Jonathan, have you ever made a mistake while driving?
If the government offered a form online where you can submit an affidavit where you can say you rolled a stop sign, went over the speeding limit to earn yourself a point on your license and a citation, would you do it?

I think you’re supportive of red light cameras. The basis of these enforcement technology is in being able to trace the driver by the driver being tied to the registration. When the Portland City Government fails to enforce registration requirements, it becomes harder to tie violations to the offending driver as well.

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Good point. I see lots of cars without plates around Portland. No way to send a citation to driver from a red light camera to a car without plates. Unfortunately, PBOT and the PPB is unable/unwilling/not allowed to enforce registration requirements and the need for license plates in Portland.

Oh I’ve made lots of mistakes.

We agree that more regulation of cars is a good thing. My point remains that I don’t feel this conversation is necessary as it relates to these specific fatalities on 82nd Avenue. At least not until we know more about the drivers involved your point feels very speculative to me.

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You misunderstand me. I responded to Chopwatch’s call for the police to be, “making contact with occupied derelict vehicles with registration violations to check license, registration and insurance”. Specifically, I think their focus on the poor and homeless is disproportionate and misguided given the subject of traffic violence. I am not anti-enforcement, rather I am against disproportionate use of enforcement vs other safety tools such as infrastructure design, education and certification and technological advancement (speed limiters on GPS enabled cars, etc). And specifically with Chopwatch’s many posts and comments focusing on the poor and homeless people, I reject the idea that we can simply police “problematic” people into compliance or out of existence.

Most every new car has some form of telematics, in which it has GPS, speed, and many times speed limit data available in real time. But when these tragedies are reported I rarely, if ever, hear calls to control or police relatively well off drivers. It just seems both prejudicial and punching down to point at someone living in their car as the cause of “lawlessness” when we ask so little of drivers in general. People constantly speed, and many of our roads are designed in a way that kills people. But sure, the poor are the problem, /s.

If you take issue with unregistered drivers (which annoys me too), I think we need to create or fortify programs to help people register their vehicles. If they can’t pass smog, either help people fix their cars or provide viable alternatives to driving. Currently, public transportation is a woefully inadequate substitute for may people. Alternatives to driving a crappy car around need to be expanded before we criminalize people trying to survive. And if people are living in their cars, we need to provide housing for them, not prosecute them into loosing their current home/shelter.

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If cars are found parked with major registration violations (no plates and having been reported more than once over one month apart) then they should be towed so that showing proof of INSURANCE is required in order to get it out of the pound. I firmly believe it would reduce hit and run counts by doing so.

Absolutely agree that we need more housing for those that can’t currently afford to live in Portland. Absolutely agree that we should have better transit in Portland.
Absolutely disagree that we should refrain from aggressively enforcing vehicle registration rules.

I can’t tell if your argument is that we should wait to solve housing and transit before enforcing laws or if it is that we should never enforce these laws and just hope that housing will fix everything. But I don’t think it matters. Either way, I roundly reject your argument.

While living in North Portland, I saw a neighbor and her children get rammed by an intoxicated driver of an unregistered vehicle (who then fled and crashed into another vehicle a half mile away within a couple of minutes, and who then attempted to flee again), had the license plates stolen off of my car (presumably by someone that intended to affix them to an unregistered vehicle), and was the victim of a reckless driver of a stolen and unregistered vehicle, who destroyed my car and came darn near to killing my passenger, and then fled the scene. This all happened in the span of about 12 months. I have no idea if any of the people that perpetrated these crimes were homeless or vulnerable, but I can say for darn sure that none of them should have been allowed to have access to vehicles. I can also say for sure that aggressive enforcement of vehicle registration laws would have been a much better solution than housing programs or assistance with registration for these people. If the police had been pulling over anyone with missing registration (or stolen plates) they might have caught these people before they could inflict damage on those around them.

Would aggressive enforcement and impoundment of unregistered or stolen vehicles potentially have negative impacts on some vulnerable people? I’m sure it would. But it would also remove deadly weapons from the hands of people that should not have access to them and who apparently can’t be held accountable under the existing system.

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It would have a positive impact on those barely able to afford things, but do not drive unregistered/uninsured by preventing the hike of uninsured motorist coverage related premium.

I think we agree, at least in general, that this is the crux of the disagreement, “Absolutely disagree that we should refrain from aggressively enforcing vehicle registration rules.” I think the enforcement of vehicle registration should be proportional and when paired with other enforcement and safety strategies would almost certainly result in safer streets. More broadly, to make streets safer, it doesn’t help the be myopic and unduly focused on the poor or homeless, when the vast majority of drivers killing people with their cars are not unregistered or uninsured.

I just don’t think aggressive registration enforcement is the panacea that you are making it out to be. Every day people are killed in crashes involving properly licensed, insured and registered drivers/vehicles. In fact, the vast majority of collisions are between compliant drivers. So I take issue with the framing as being caused in large part by, “occupied derelict vehicles with registration violations”. That is what I was addressing. This is a Broken Windows, CompStat policing logic that ignores the reality of the problem in favor of some feel good “stop the crooks” strategy. The reality of the situation is our roads are poorly designed with perverse incentives to driving dangerously and with unnecessary frequency. And even if everyone followed the rules (both written and unwritten), we would still be left with an unacceptably high rate of deaths and injuries.

I think JM put it pretty succinctly, “What do vehicles with registration violations have to do with these two deaths Chopwatch?” But to be more specific the idea of targeting “derelict vehicles” as an effective strategy, really belies the bias here against a particular population. We need to treat the causes not the symptoms of our broken transportation system / car culture.

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