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  #1  
Old 04-12-2011, 11:10 AM
David David is offline
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Default Bunch of BS: Cars Are Legally Allowed to Cause Crashes and Drive Off

On my way to work today after a conference downtown, I rode over the Broadway Bridge up to Williams on Weidler. Due to the construction, the bike lane is closed, and so is the ride-on-the-sidewalk way to get into the intersection to continue on Williams from Weidler.

So I had to get into the far left lane, riding between the new train tracks. As I was about to turn left onto Williams, a car in the lane next to me signaled, didn't look, and started to cut right in front of me. He was smoking, so he had his window down. I was able to yell loud enough for him to stop his car, but not before I swerved into the tracks and crashed.

I motioned for him to pull over, but instead he drove off. I got his plates (RXA 473) and called the non-emergency line to see their take on hit and runs. He was 100% responsible for me crashing and hurting my leg, but his car didn't contact my body. I took notes during the call, and this is a direct quote with the dispatcher:

"One of the hazards of the road there is riding...with vehicles."

I wonder if that's the bureau's official stance? At this point, the law is saying you're better off sticking around and letting yourself get hit by the car, because at least then you have some legal recourse if you're going down anyway.

F that.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:16 PM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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The incident sucks for you, but what do you figure the PD can do about your claim that the driver caused you to crash? By your account, the receptionist's response was kind of blunt and cavalier.

But beyond that, what grounds does the PD have to put the screws on this driver to own up to what he did? You got witnesses? What's the PD supposed to do with only your claim the driver caused you to fall? How is it supposed to prove that what you say happened, did happen as you said it did?

For your own future use, since it sounds as though you may have seen his face clearly, put together a vivid description of the driver, just in case you're able to somehow convince the police to go out and talk with this guy, maybe pull his driving record up.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:26 PM
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biciclero biciclero is offline
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Thumbs down "That is total BS..." --ORS

Taken together, the following two statutes would clearly indicate that to say you were a just a victim of "one of the hazards of the road" is complete BS:

Quote:
811.700 Failure to perform duties of driver when property is damaged; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of failure to perform the duties of a driver when property is damaged if the person is the driver of any vehicle and the person does not perform duties required under any of the following:

(a) If the person is the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident that results only in damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by any other person the person must perform all of the following duties:

etc....
To me, the wording in the above statute makes clear that a vehicle can be "involved in an accident" without making contact with another vehicle.

Quote:
811.705 Failure to perform duties of driver to injured persons; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured persons if the person is the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident that results in injury or death to any person and does not do all of the following:

(a) Immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close thereto as possible.

etc...
The repeated use of the phrase "involved in a accident" in this statute seems to again indicate that a vehicle can be considered to have been "involved in an accident" that results in injury even if that vehicle made no contact with the injured person.

I'm no lawyer, and perhaps a lawyer could point out flaws in my reasoning, but it sure sounds like you were given a complete steaming truckload.

The attitude this dispatcher displayed is one that constantly fries me as well. Unfortunately, there are enough (dare I say a majority of?) people out there who essentially feel that "if you're stupid enough to try to ride your little bikey-bike on the road with real grown-ups in cars, you deserve anything that happens to you."

BS indeed.
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:13 PM
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Apennine Apennine is offline
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Default Democracy at work

This is where we contact our Legislators and demand stronger laws. I mean, how can Portland be a world-leading city for bicyclists and allow this BS to happen?
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:24 PM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apennine View Post
This is where we contact our Legislators and demand stronger laws. I mean, how can Portland be a world-leading city for bicyclists and allow this BS to happen?
What idea for a law might you have in mind that would address the OP's predicament? Besides himself, and the driver, he hasn't said he has a witness to the incident. How does he even prove that driver, in that vehicle was even there?

In some collisions (in this one, there doesn't appear to have been contact between the vehicles.), impact leaves a part of the vehicle at the scene, allowing proof to be made that the vehicle was at such and such a location and was involved in an impact resulting in damage to the vehicle that caused a piece of it to be left behind. In this incident, there wasn't.
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:57 AM
David David is offline
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You're right--no witnesses stopped during this incident although plenty of cars were around, and since we stopped traffic, they definitely saw what happened.

The only evidence I have is the license plate, and that I can describe the man and his wife. Not proof, but not nothing either.

I'll post a follow up when I'm not on my phone as to why I believe the law and police dispatcher are wrong.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:46 PM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
You're right--no witnesses stopped during this incident although plenty of cars were around, and since we stopped traffic, they definitely saw what happened.

The only evidence I have is the license plate, and that I can describe the man and his wife. Not proof, but not nothing either.

I'll post a follow up when I'm not on my phone as to why I believe the law and police dispatcher are wrong.

People checking the forums will likely be interested in what more you have to say, and if what that is somehow sheds some additional light on the situation, maybe will be able to offer you advice that'll help you get some accountability.

It's really unfortunate that drivers of some of the cars around you that were held up when you fell, didn't stop to offer assistance. One or two of them could have backed you up. You say you got a good look at both the driver and the female passenger. That's good. Write down the details. Wild idea....but maybe if you had an artist friend that was good at portraits, you could play around at coming up with a likeness.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:27 AM
phdbd phdbd is offline
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Default What are the police supposed to do about it?

If a careless driver runs you off the road in your car, When you report it to the police, does the dispatcher ever tell you (to just lump it) "that's one of the hazards of driving your car on the road?"

There appears a disturbing culture-bound attempt to remove the legal rights of cyclists by folks upset they (people who ride bikes) don't suffer the same legal responsibilities of automobile drivers.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:45 PM
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dmc dmc is offline
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Default Multiple Hazards

Seems to me that you were put into a situation of multiple hazards. At least three by my count.

The response the dispatcher gave you, if you are accurately quoting the individual, is heart breaking and aggravating.

I sympathize with you and the situation you encountered.

I think that your feeling of needing justice should take a backseat to a couple of other areas that you have more control over. In this specific situation.
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:22 AM
Alan Alan is offline
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Default report bike/streetcar track crashes

Jonathon Maus reports that Active Right of Way (AROW) is collecting reports on bike crashes due to streetcar tracks. Use this webform to report street car track crashes.
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