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A joint traffic safety mission will be underway today in Gresham and East Portland.

From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., officers from the Gresham Police Department, Portland Police Bureau, Oregon State Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office will be on the lookout for motorists texting or talking on cellular phones while driving, seat belt violations and moving violations, said Sgt. Pete Simpson, Portland Police spokesman.

Officers are focusing on the area between 122nd and 201st avenues from Halsey Street to Foster Road.

“The goal of the mission is to promote traffic safety awareness through high-visibility enforcement, education and public outreach,” Simpson said.

So far this year, Portland has already had 12 traffic fatalities.

Law enforcement agencies hope the mission serves as a reminder to drivers to avoid distractions such as texting or using mobile phones while driving, to obey traffic signals and stop signs, to remember to buckle up and to watch their speed, particularly in areas with a lot of pedestrians.

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