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Police issue 35 citations in crosswalk sting

Area law enforcement highlighted pedestrian safety on Monday with concentrated focus on the intersection of West Second Street and North Columbus Avenue in Medford.

Teams from Medford police and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office as well as an officer from Ashland wrote 35 citations and issued 11 warnings to drivers who failed to follow Oregon traffic laws pertaining to pedestrian safety at that location.

A “decoy” pedestrian was used in this effort.

The City of Medford received complaints about drivers and how their behavior endangers people crossing streets — no matter whether a crosswalk is marked, according to a press release from Medford police.

This intersection features four unmarked crosswalks and has a speed limit of 35 mph. Primary enforcement targets were drivers who failed to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, with a focus on the south side of the intersection.

The enforcement operation was not only announced in a press release several days ahead; signs were posted at the crosswalk informing drivers about it.

Other traffic citations issued included five citations for illegal cellphone use as well as three citations each for not wearing seatbelts, for driving with suspended licenses and for not having insurance. One driver was cited for speeding.

Oregon requires that a driver must stop and remain stopped if a pedestrian is walking in the driver’s lane of traffic or the adjacent lane. This rule applies on single and multi-lane roadways.

State law also prohibits passing a stopped vehicle at a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection if the vehicle is stopped to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway. The operation also provides increased awareness about the state’s pedestrian-oriented traffic laws and improves pedestrian safety, the MPD noted.