Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on October 6th, 2010 at 1:02 pm
(Photo © J. Maus)
Glare is sort of a pet issue of mine, but I’ve yet to address it here on the Front Page. The basic issue is this: When the sun is rising or setting and it’s low on the horizon, it makes vehicle operators temporarily blind. The reason I bring this up now is because a friend of mine and his five-year old son were involved in a collision because of glare just last week.
by EMTs after a crash last week.
(Photo: Nate Gibson)
Last Thursday, I reported (on Page Two), that two people on a tandem were hit by a man driving a white pickup in North Portland. The person in the pickup truck was going west on N. Killingsworth and collided with the tandem as he turned south onto N. Kerby. The Portland Police Bureau issued a press release stating that, “The driver of the truck did not see anyone” when he started his turn.
bike lane in this picture?
(Photo: J. Ragsdale)
The next day I got an email. It turns out the guy who was hit was my friend Jim Moore and his son Dylan. Jim acknowledged that — due to glare from the setting sun — the man in the truck couldn’t see them. “The guy never saw us, because the sun was setting in his eyes,” he wrote via email. (Luckily, no one was seriously hurt.)
BikePortland reader Jon Ragsdale from Beaverton sent in the photo at right of the view from his car in the mornings on Sunnyside Road (between 122nd and 132nd). Jon wrote in to say that they fight the glare every morning and that, “The camera can see the bike lane better than I can.”
Please note, I did not post this story not to start a debate about who’s to blame in glare-induced collisions or whether “I couldn’t see them” is ever an acceptable excuse in a traffic crash. Both of those are worthy debates; but with shorter days bringing sunrise/sunset to peak commute hours, I feel the more important message is simply to be aware — and beware — of glare.