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Bend Police and community get together for open house to discuss traffic safety and enforcing traffic laws

Police Chief Krantz says city is looking at adding automated red light, speed enforcement

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend community members were invited to meet at Bend Municipal Court Monday evening for a Public Safety Open House, to learn about how the Bend Police Department and Transportation teams plan to enhance traffic safety and enforce traffic laws.

As the city grows, so does the traffic, the concerns and the need to control it.

This open house and public forum was a way to bring the Bend Police Department together with the community, listen to those concerns and find some answers. 

Cheryl Stark, chair of the Summit West Neighborhood District said, “By far, the most important concern or issue for all of those residents specific to traffic and safety is speed.”

According to recent statistics, traffic accidents remain a leading cause of death globally, claiming millions of lives each year.

In response to local traffic issues, Police Chief Mike Krantz is implementing a multifaceted approach to tackle the root cause of these tragedies.

Speeding is always one of the biggest concerns we hear about, and it's visible. And traffic concerns really rise, because it's one of the most visible things in our community," Krantz said. "It also causes the most damage and destruction in our community around the cost of traffic crashes, the cost of lives, injuries.”

Bend Police say one of the most innovative ways to tackle traffic issues and make streets safer is through technology.

Krantz said, “We're looking at an Automated Enforcement Program, which is essentially automated red light and speed enforcement, to where a system is put in place, and when someone violates the code, whether it be running a red light or speed enforcement, the system automatically takes a picture, and through a process, ultimately a citation is sent to the registered owner of the vehicle.”.

In addition to automated enforcement, the city plans to better educate the community on traffic safety through coordinated campaigns, along adding speed bumps, creating curb extensions, increasing bike lanes and raising crosswalks.

It also encourages using public transportation, as well as biking, with several projects in the works to make bike travel safer for them and for motorists as well. 

Bend police say it can be an uphill battle fighting traffic issues, but they will continue to introduce new and innovative ways to combat those problems and keep the public safer.

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Tracee Tuesday

Tracee Tuesday is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Tracee here.


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