Portland is one of few major American cities without police traffic enforcement



The title of your post is inaccurate.

Every single officer on the force can do traffic enforcement.

Also, the article is highly misleading because (as these type of outlets often do) it makes the PPB out to be an innocent victim when in fact their own leadership are the ones who have contributed to the current situation.

The fact is the PPB budget is absolutely fine and is as high as ever. They can’t attract officers because the culture is so bad that no one wants to work for them. Sounds like they should change their culture to me and make their workplace more attractive to higher quality applicants that can actually pass the tests to get in.

Also, it was PPB leadership and Chief Lovell who decided to disband the Traffic Division. No one forced them to do that.

Also, the PPB cares more about politics than about traffic safety. That’s why they held a press conference with the sole purpose of broadcasting to Portland that “we are not enforcing traffic laws”. That was extremely irresponsible.

Also, if the police really cared about traffic safety they would do much more to encourage the implementation of automated enforcement cameras which are highly effective. They would also help the City of Portland transition away from armed people doing traffic stops. They aren’t doing either of those things because they want to preserve their power.


I remember reading that Joanne Hardesty was trying to implement a new system for traffic cameras. As it stands, a police officer must view the tapes then write a citation. The police are short staffed. Ms Hardesty wanted to hire non-police staff to do this job. Makes sense to me. I wonder what ever happened to that idea.

Hardesty and PBOT were able to get a new law passed at the state legislature last session to finally remove that police oversight! This is really good news. The problem now is I still haven’t seen the quicker implementation of cameras we so desperately need. I have a pretty strong hunch there’s more to the delay than PBOT wants to tell us. I’m aware of some problems between PBOT staff and the camera vendor that might account for the delay. We’ll have to do some work to find out more and will post a story on bikeportland when we do that.


That is disingenuous Jonathan to state any cop can do traffic enforcement. While technically correct the reality on the ground is that patrol officers are often running from one 911 call to another and there is no time to do proper traffic enforcement. You are simply parroting anti-police Joanne Hardesty’s talking points.

Wasn’t my title Mr Maus. Feel free to discuss with the reporter Wright Gazaway.

thanks for agreeing that my statement is correct. The “reality on the ground” is the reality you want to see and not the same reality that I see or that exists. I see PPB officers doing traffic-related stops all the time - and that’s just on my social media. Have you seen their partnership with Multnomah County and TriMet where they are doing enforcement around transit stops? Or how about the downtown bike cops on IG who constantly post about drivers they pull over?

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The city is missing out on a real income opportunity by not issuing driving violations at intersections with traffic signals. As a active cyclist it is terrifying to see how little regard people give to traffic signals which turn from green to yellow. Decades ago I was taught that a yellow light was meant to warn you to prepare to slow to a stop. That action seems to have completely vaporized. Now the most common reaction to a yellow light is increasing speed regardless of the number of people on foot or bicycles at a intersection.

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The officials we have elected feel traffic enforcement is racist and discriminatory. They would rather have record setting traffic violence. It’s unfortunate but that is the reality in Portland.

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