A few minutes ago, I posted a story about a potentially new directive within the Police Bureau that would call for all bike-involved collisions to be investigated.
Now I have confirmed with the PPB’s Public Information Officer Brian Schmautz that yes, there will be a modification of their policy, but it is a bit different than what I first assumed.
Acccording to Schmautz, the Police Bureau plans to change its Manual of Policy and Procedures to reflect a new injury threshold for the automatic triggering of a crash investigation.
Currently, one of the seven criteria that triggers an investigation (see them all below) is “Physical injuries with entry into the Regional Trauma System by on-scene EMS personnel.”
Schmautz says the Bureau is currently training its officers on a new injury threshold definition. The new injury threshold will be, “injuries requiring medical transport if it’s vulnerable roadway user”. Vulnerable roadway user is a new term that was put into law by HB 3314 (that went into effect January 1, 2008) and includes anyone on a bicycle, an unenclosed farm vehicle, inline skates, roller skates, or a skateboard.
In essence, there’s no change to the crash investigation criteria if its a car/car collision, but when it’s a bike/car collision, the threshold for an investigation is a trip to the hospital, and not the more serious “trauma injury”. Schmautz says this change will likely occur officially sometime in February.
This is not quite the “all bike-involved collisions” that I reported earlier, but it still means many more investigations will take place. This is nothing short of a positive step in the right direction and I commend the resource-strapped Police Bureau for following through with this change.
This policy change was suggested at the various meetings about enforcement practices back in October and November, and it’s very encouraging to see it actually happen.
Here is the current “Investigation Criteria” from the PPB’s Manual of Policy and Procedure:
Investigation Criteria (640.50)
Members will investigate the following types of crashes. This investigation will include completing an Oregon Police Crash Report.
a. Fatal crashes.
b. Physical injuries with entry into the Regional Trauma System by on-scene EMS personnel.
c. Drivers who are under the influence of intoxicants.
d. Drivers that fail to perform the duties required of them at the scene of a traffic crash (hit and run).
e. Hazardous material spills: Members should determine if a trained motor carrier officer is on duty from Traffic or other precincts to assist in the investigation.
f. An emergency code run by the police, whether or not a police vehicle was involved.
g. When a citation is issued to a driver involved in a crash for a violation other than a vehicle licensing, operator licensing or fi nancial responsibility statute.