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View Full Version : friday, two close calls in one day


toddistic
05-11-2008, 07:37 PM
seriously, it seems that when the weather gets nicer, people in their cars stop paying attention.

i had two close calls on Friday. one going to work, one coming home. I haven't had a close call in well over four months.

the first got an earful from me as she crossed vancouver right in front of me, for which I turned onto the street she was crossing to avoid her. I gave her an earful and she apologized. It was close but not as outragous as later that afternoon.

the latter will be reported to the business he works for, the portland unified school district.

a school bus on Alberta, waiting at 15th. As is common, bikes ride along the right hand side and stop at the light. I did that, as I have done time and time again. this bus driver, who apparently was irritated that my transportation choice allowed me to effectively avoid sitting in traffic passed VERY close to me between 16th and 17th on Alberta, where I was within inches of parked cars and within inches of his passing bus. He then made a quick left onto 17th, then a quick right one block down. Then two blocks down (for which I was following him) and for which he ran a stop sign. I followed him, he stopped, I went up to his window and told him to be more careful, he jestured for me to "come on". Right, I'm not going to get physical with him. I got his bus number and will be calling the Portland School District tomorrow morning.

Chris Leonardo
05-11-2008, 09:09 PM
shoot man, glad your ok!

Attornatus_Oregonensis
05-12-2008, 07:07 AM
this bus driver, who apparently was irritated that my transportation choice allowed me to effectively avoid sitting in traffic passed VERY close to me between 16th and 17th on Alberta, where I was within inches of parked cars and within inches of his passing bus.

This is infuriating and far, far too common. My view is that this should be charged as the crime it is, recklessly endangering another person. Here it is - what do you think?

ORS 163.195:
(1) A person commits the crime of recklessly endangering another person if the person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.
(2) Recklessly endangering another person is a Class A misdemeanor.

toddistic
05-12-2008, 02:16 PM
I contacted the Beaverton School District and filed a complaint. It was a Beaverton school bus. Waiting to hear back from their dispatch.

The man on the phone understood that there isn't a bike lane and the bus should have yielded to me. I also informed them that he ran a stop sign which they were equally interested in. I told them I would apperciate a call back and the dispatcher informed me he would speak with the driver (to get his side of the story I imagine)

Is it any wonder a driver from suburbite beavertron has any idea how navigate Alberta? I guess not.

toddistic
05-12-2008, 02:17 PM
and a.O I complete agree with your idea that it was reckless endangerment. Hopefully the guy loses his job.

djasonpenney
05-13-2008, 03:21 PM
The problem is the notion of reckless:


reckless adj. in both negligence and criminal cases, careless to the point of being heedless of the consequences ("grossly" negligent). Most commonly this refers to the traffic misdemeanor "reckless driving." It can also refer to use of firearms (shooting a gun in public place), explosives, or heavy equipment. (See: negligent, careless, wet reckless)


It applies to the state of mind of the motorist. I much prefer menacing from ORS 163.190:


163.190 Menacing. (1) A person commits the crime of menacing if by word or conduct the person intentionally attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury.

(2) Menacing is a Class A misdemeanor. [1971 c.743 95]


I like this one much better because it refers to your state of mind, not that of the driver. :D
This is infuriating and far, far too common. My view is that this should be charged as the crime it is, recklessly endangering another person. Here it is - what do you think?

ORS 163.195:
(1) A person commits the crime of recklessly endangering another person if the person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.
(2) Recklessly endangering another person is a Class A misdemeanor.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
05-14-2008, 07:11 AM
I like this one much better because it refers to your state of mind, not that of the driver. :D

Not exactly. The fear here is judged by whether a reasonable person under the circumstances would feel fear. But I agree that menacing is a slam dunk here.

I just think it's time to go a step further and say that when you drive that close to someone, whether to intimidate or because you are oblivious, you are "heedless of the consequences" of your actions, which are creating a substantial risk of death.

I think the unwillingness to charge a crime with a reckless mens rea in circumstances like this comes down to (a) prosecutorial unwillingness to take any risk; and (b) a perceived lack of political pressure to prosecute such crimes.

Anyway, I guess the bottom line for me is that the laws are there, we need better enforcement if bicyclists are to feel safe on the roads.

djasonpenney
05-14-2008, 10:11 AM
<snip>
I think the unwillingness to charge a crime with a reckless mens rea in circumstances like this comes down to (a) prosecutorial unwillingness to take any risk; and (b) a perceived lack of political pressure to prosecute such crimes.
<snip>

I am personally disappointed that the safe passing law just placed into effect this year did not carry the same penalties as reckless driving. My understanding is that the Oregon legislature was reluctant to specify criminal penalties for intentionally threatening the life of a mere bicyclist. :mad:

--jason "gonna stop now before my blood pressure rises again" p.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
05-14-2008, 11:06 AM
I share your disappointment, to say the least.