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View Full Version : Kruger is either a liar or incompetent


Attornatus_Oregonensis
10-28-2007, 08:30 AM
"Cyclists are required to ride as close as practical to the right shoulder unless they're turning left, Kruger says. They can ride as close as practical to the left shoulder on a one-way street within a city."

That excerpt is from this morning's O:
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1193466354179340.xml&coll=7&thispage=1

Wrong. It's a terrible misstatement of the law applicable to cyclists. This is perhaps the biggest source of motorist-cyclist conflict.

The reason this misstatement is so bad is that it tells motorists cyclists are not supposed to be in the motor vehicle lane in a wide variety of circumstances when cyclists *can* be in the lane, something that the greatest cause of conflict between cyclists and motorists, mostly due to motorists' ignorance of the law.

It's the ensuing impatient and aggressive acts by motorists that endanger cyclists lives and keep people from cycling.

I have little doubt, based on his other public statements, that Kruger really doesn't understand the law. What more can you say when a law enforcement officer doesn't understand the law. It's simple incompetence.

Apparently, the O either doesn't understand the law also, or doesn't see fit to correct Kruger or expose his dangerous incompetence.

Now, *here's* the law:

A cyclist is not required to use the bike lane "if the person is able to safely move out of the bicycle lane or path for the purpose of:

(a) Overtaking and passing another bicycle, a vehicle or a pedestrian that is in the bicycle lane or path and passage cannot safely be made in the lane or path.

(b) Preparing to execute a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(c) Avoiding debris or other hazardous conditions.

(d) Preparing to execute a right turn where a right turn is authorized.

(e) Continuing straight at an intersection where the bicycle lane or path is to the right of a lane from which a motor vehicle must turn right. ORS 814.420(3).

When there's no bike lane, you can take the lane when:

When going "the normal speed of traffic [that is] using the roadway at that time and place under the existing conditions." ORS 814.430(1).

When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle that is proceeding in the same direction.

When preparing to execute a left turn.

When reasonably necessary to avoid hazardous conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or other conditions that make continued operation along the right curb or edge unsafe or to avoid unsafe operation in a lane on the roadway that is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side. Nothing in this paragraph excuses the operator of a bicycle from the requirements under ORS 811.425 or from the penalties for failure to comply with those requirements.

When operating within a city as near as practicable to the left curb or edge of a roadway that is designated to allow traffic to move in only one direction along the roadway. A bicycle that is operated under this paragraph is subject to the same requirements and exceptions when operating along the left curb or edge as are applicable when a bicycle is operating along the right curb or edge of the roadway.

When operating a bicycle alongside not more than one other bicycle as long as the bicycles are both being operated within a single lane and in a manner that does not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. ORS 814.430(2).

Kruger is making this city a worse place to bike by spreading misinformation about the law that applies to bikes.

donnambr
10-28-2007, 12:12 PM
Oh, I think he understands the law just fine. He doesn't like the law, and so he's decided to become a legislative and judicial activist despite the fact he works as a public servant in the executive branch. He's also willing to spin and twist the truth to serve his own agenda. Given his past history in the PPB, none of this surprises me. What does shock and dismay me is how he's obviously been given the ok to run his mouth whenever and however he pleases. It goes to show you what the new Traffic Commander, the Police Chief, and the Mayor think about cyclist/motorist interactions in this city.

DJoos
10-28-2007, 07:10 PM
It is obvious that Kruger views himself as more than just a police officer. The decisions and comments he has made reflects a total disregard to the "checks and balances" that our state and national constitution provide us. The city needs to review his actions, then do its job; uphold our rights and ensure our safety!

wsbob
10-28-2007, 07:41 PM
Is Lt. Kruger the "Official PPB Spokesperson" ? Is that why this person's words so commonly seem to be associated with initial news of a traffic incident from the bureau's end? I think it's somewhat reasonable that such a person, obliged to promptly offer details at the scene to an anxiously waiting press might feel pressure to risk comments that turn out not to be consistent with the conclusions of a thorough incident investigation. Given what must be a known and acknowledged possibility of this happening, I would hope that PPB spokespersons or Public Information Officers, etc., would be instructed to be very meticulous in taking steps to carefully avoid this kind of thing from happening. A question I would have is whether the department does expect acceptance of such a responsibility from their spokespersons, and whether Lt Kruger has been meeting that responsibility.

Kruger's comments at the incident scene about fatally injured cyclist Brett Jarolimek seem at least, to be amateurish, but hopefully not indicative of something more insidious in Kruger's character. There are people yet aware of Lt Kruger's infamous conduct during the the peace demonstration not so many years back in which he recklessly pepper-sprayed peaceful participants including those holding infants. Also, Kruger allegedly has a notable interest in Nazi memorabilia that raises a reasonable question of the extent of that interest and whether, in a way sympathetic with that groups philosophy, it may enter into his own personal viewpoint about people and his own job performance.

Lt Kruger apparently inspires somebody's confidence in his ability to do the job of PPB Spokesperson/PIO, etc.. If whoever that is could just get Lt Kruger to make a practice of being a little bit more objective, a little more faithful to laws and regulations governing public streets, roads, and the people using them and also compel him to be a little less editorialistic in his comments to the public regarding incidents not yet having been thoroughly investigated, everyone might be better served.

donnambr
10-28-2007, 11:20 PM
If whoever that is could just get Lt Kruger to make a practice of being a little bit more objective, a little more faithful to laws and regulations governing public streets, roads, and the people using them and also compel him to be a little less editorialistic in his comments to the public regarding incidents not yet having been thoroughly investigated, everyone might be better served.
Don't hold your breath.

toddwaddell
10-29-2007, 08:12 AM
Dear Chief Sizer:

I had previously written you regarding Lt. Kruger's biased and inaccurate comments to the press. As you likely know, Lt. Kruger was quoted in yesterday's (Sunday, October 28) Oregonian in an article on bicycle and motor vehicle laws and cooperation.

Unfortunately, Lt. Kruger, once again presented inaccurate and biased information to the media when he said that "Cyclists are required to ride as close as practical to the right shoulder unless they're turning left, Kruger says. They can ride as close as practical to the left shoulder on a one-way street within a city."

The actual statute is online here http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/814.html, and excerpted at the bottom of this e-mail for your reference. The essential point is that bicycles are allowed to ride in the traffic lane under certain conditions and are allowed to ride outside of bicycle lanes outside of certain conditions. Providing inaccurate information to the public results in both dangerous behavior in traffic and dangerous misunderstandings between bicyclists and motorists.

Once again, I am forced to ask, who appointed Lt. Kruger as the public spokesman of the PPB? And how can we trust that Lt. Kruger and, by extension, his officers will enforce the law impartially and accurately for all road users, when Lt. Kruger continually demonstrates that he does not understand the law, or know how to apply it accurately, himself?

Once again, I urge you to speak out publicly to correct the record and to let motorists and bicyclists know what you steps you are taking to prevent similar misstatements in the future and to ensure that all road users receive fair treatment under the law.

Sincerely,
Todd Waddell

(Statute quoted in e-mail but omitted here out of space considerations.)

Attornatus_Oregonensis
10-29-2007, 08:18 AM
Thanks for writing Todd. I wish everyone would do this.

I'm preparing something similar. By the way, everyone please feel free to take any text I post here and use in your letters if that makes it easier or faster for you.

donnambr
10-29-2007, 07:45 PM
Thank you, A.O. I really appreciate that. I'm too embroiled in work crisis to be creative and original at present. :o