Beaverton Police Department: Drive Safely, Kids Back to School

By Police Staff16 Crosswalk on Hall Blvd

September is back to school month. Approximately 41,000 students will be commuting to and from schools in the Beaverton School District. You will see an increase of pedestrians and bicyclist on our roadways. Those pedestrians and bicyclists are some of our most vulnerable commuters due to age and life experience.

The Beaverton Police Department urges drivers to keep their eyes on the road and avoid distractions. Distractions come in many forms like cell phones, car radios, passengers, eating and drinking, putting on makeup, and shaving. As a police department, we have seen all of these distractions and unfortunately, some have led to traffic crashes. Keeping your eyes on the road and focused on driving is the best way to avoid being part of a traffic crash. It only takes a moment of distraction to cause a serious crash.

With students also comes school buses. Although you may see buses out at any time of the day, you are most likely to encounter them between 6:45 AM to 9:15 AM and 2:30 PM to 4:15 PM. Drivers are required to stop for school buses that have their red bus safety lights activated. Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 811.155 governs what a driver must do when they encounter a school bus with its red bus safety lights activated. Failing to stop for a school bus could result in a $435 fine.

Crosswalks are often confusing for drivers. Depending on the type of intersection and where the pedestrian is within the intersection, drivers are required to react differently. There are also different roadway markings to designate crosswalks. The short answer is every public roadway that intersects another public roadway, whether marked or unmarked, is a crosswalk.

If drivers encounter a pedestrian in a crosswalk they are required to stop and remain stopped. Drivers can proceed after the pedestrian is a proscribed distance from their vehicle. What is the proscribed distance you might ask? Again, it is different depending on the type of intersection but to keep out of trouble drivers should give pedestrians three lanes of travel. The three lanes include the lane the pedestrian is in, the lane in front of the pedestrian and the lane behind the pedestrian.

The HAWK crosswalks at SW Hall near SW Greenway and SW Farmington near SW 139th require drivers to remain stopped until pedestrians are completely out of the crosswalk. ORS 811.028 and 811.035 govern what a driver must do when they encounter a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Violating a crosswalk law could result in a 260.00-dollar fine.

If you would like to learn more about crosswalk laws for free, Beaverton Police Department holds a crosswalk diversion class. The diversion class is offered to drivers who have been cited for a crosswalk violation and is open to the public.

To learn more about the next crosswalk diversion class please call 503-526-2261 and ask for the traffic sergeant.

Beaverton Police Department is committed to keeping our roadways safe. Drivers and pedestrians both play a part in traffic safety. With more pedestrians in and around the roadways this September, we urge all roadway users to be more aware of each other. Working together, we will keep Beaverton safe.