An early morning collision on NE Marine Drive at 122nd resulted in injuries to a woman riding her bike and two citations for a man operating a motor vehicle who police say turned left in front of her.
The crash happened at about 6:36 am and was initially reported as a crash involving someone walking. Upon further investigation, the Portland Police Bureau realized that the woman that was hit was on a bicycle prior to the collision.
The woman, whose name has not been released, suffered non life-threatening injuries and is recovering at the hospital. The PPB have identified 21-year old Robert Babb as the motor vehicle operator.
Traffic investigators have learned that Babb was driving westbound on NE Marine Drive and the woman on the bike was headed eastbound. The collision occurred when Babb turned turned left onto 122nd. While some segments of Marine Drive are a multi-use path off the main road, this section has standard-width bike lanes directly adjacent to 45 mph motor vehicle traffic.
Mr. Babb was issued citations for making a Dangerous Left Turn and Driving Uninsured.
The woman who was hit is named Karey Swan. She is 28, lives in Portland, and is a veteran racer. She is at Legacy Emanuel Hospital recovering from injuries and was set to go to surgery today. We’ll keep you posted on her condition.
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Another uninsured driver. What a complete surprise.
Here is an idea: if you are found to be driving uninsured in Oregon, you forfeit your car to the State. The cars are then sold, and the money used to compensate victims of uninsured motorists.
I wish the injured woman a speedy recovery. And I hope she has medical insurance, because it is almost always futile to try to recover damages against an uninsured motorist.
Unfortunately recent court decisions have made taking cars a very difficult business…
We live in a car culture and many (not all) people need a car to get to work and find it impossible to pay for the car, gas, and insurance. Your solution would be to heap additional hardships on the poor by forfeiting their cars to the government for what amounts to a few hundred (maybe few thousand) in unpaid government mandated costs (by this I mean insurance fees).
– I respectively disagree and would prefer a different solution. I am not exactly sure what the alternative is but I find a confiscated car more than a little draconian.
– How does not fault insurance work? Does it provide that each person insures themselves? I am not sure this is the right answer, but I wanted to provide a possible alternative.
If you can’t afford to operate the car legally (which means having insurance), then you have no business driving it. My sympathy here is with the cyclist (who may not even own a car, and therefore would not have a policy under which to make a claim), not the driver. Maybe my solution is draconian, but the consequences for the victim, particularly if the victim doesn’t have insurance coverage, could be catastrophic. A “no fault” insurance system only works if everyone (including an 80-year old pedestrian who doesn’t have a car or a bike) carries the insurance. And even if we had universal single-payer health care, there are other damages suffered by a crash victim (such as lost income) that would not be covered. If the driver doesn’t have insurance, he is forcing the costs of his negligence, and his choice to drive uninsured, on the innocent.
I agree. Cars are expensive. That’s partly why I don’t own one anymore (since ’08…feels so nice to be able to say that). Driving is a privilege. If it’s one you can’t afford, you take the bus or the train or ride a bike.
The impoverished areas of Portland all have mass transit options. I implore the people who “need to drive to live” to explore one of the best mass transit systems in Am’urka.
There simply is zero excuse for the “I need to drive to live” excuse in Portland.
Pay at the Pump insurance.
Lack of income is no excuse for lack of responsibility.
I’ll mention it again… The guy who hit me in Portland and broke my back was driving with no insurance. He was poor enough that I could get nothing from him. I received a small payment from my auto insurance. I don’t know why we, as a society, accept this.
“Driver issued citations”
`Bout blood time!
I hope she recovers quickly.
This is exactly why I take the long way around to access Marine Drive, via the multi-use path, and avoid NE 122nd/this intersection altogether. It’s just too scary.
Same here! I work in this area, and I use the multi-use 205 path, then exit down to airport way and continue my journey on the side streets rather than risk riding along that stretch of Marine Drive.
I have seen many near misses at that particular intersection as well, because traffic on marine drive travels so fast, and people are trying to turn onto the street from 122nd.
@Richard, that is a great idea, but the State would never do that unfortunately. My idea, put this young kid on the corner of the street with a big sign that says, “I drove uninsured and hit someone. Honk if you think I’m an idiot.”
Nice. That would be sweet, but it would probably result in more “incidents”. Then we’d have more people holding signs, “I was distracted by a person holding a sign saying he was an idiot and ran into someone; honk if…”. It could go nuclear–we’d eventually have the whole intersection clogged with punitive sign-holders.
How about just give them the electric chair? If they’re stupid enough to A) not drive with insurance, and B) hit something, we as society should jast say enough. God gave you feet to walk!
In regards to the uninsured motorist situation,
I’d assume that most cyclist are also automobile drivers. Isn’t it true that your car insurance’s uninsured motorist protection will cover this situation?
I know a lot of people don’t have this type of coverage but then again a lot of people don’t have health insurance either.
Here’s wishing a speedy and complete recovery to the cyclist.
It’s worth noting that, with the hordes of people moving here — especially younger people who move here precisely BECAUSE it’s so bike-friendly — it is no longer so easy to assume that “most” cyclists are also automobile owners. (You don’t have to carry insurance unless you OWN a car, remember.)
Assumptions of this kind may well lead us into a future where bicyclists and pedestrians will be required to carry some kind of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Although I am well aware of the risks inherent in my decision to ride a bike for transporation, I am not ready to live in a world where such insurance is required simply to leave the house every morning.
You’re right Beth, but you can bet your last dollar on that being precisely the country insurance companies are attempting to build for us. That’s the alternative to universal health care.
This is what I don’t like.
If you don’t have anything to loose then I guess not having insurance is OK, for you. What about the person you hurt?
If you ride a bike without automotive insurance or an umbrella policy then you are basically an uninsured vehicle. If you hurt someone then they are going to need to sue you to pay for the damages. Most likely the victim will be on there own to pay for medical bills, lost wages and other loses.
That just isn’t right.
really? you have an umbrella policy to cover potential liabilities for how you live your life? are you covered for injuries you might cause as a pedestrian? i present very little risk to anyone by using a bicycle rather than a car as transportation.
Fortunately It is very easy to ride a bicycle for 40+ years and not once cause any damage to anyone elses’ property or person – not even once, not even minor.
Look at it this way, if I fall asleep riding my bicycle, what are the 5 most likely outcomes and what would be the expected $$$ damages? (and how easy is it to fall asleep on a bicycle?) If my brakes fail going down Fairmont from the Zoo, again what are the 5 most likely outcomes and the expected $$$ damage? If I accidentally accelerate instead of braking while pulling up to a store what damage am I likely to cause?
A bicycle and rider is about 18″ wide, weighs about 200 pounds and under most circumstances has a maximum speed of 25mph and that is with a hill or tailwind for most riders. A bicycle can stop in roughly the same distance as a car, but can turn much more sharply to avoid obstacles or people. When a bicycle crashes, most of the damage is sustained by the rider!
It would be an interesting study to try to estimate in all bicycle crashes of all types (excluding being hit by a car or truck) the $$$ damage to the rider, the bike, other people and other property. I would bet that something on the order of 97% of all damages caused by bicycles are to the bike and the rider with 80% being to the rider.
In my 45+ years riding I’ve done ~$300 damage to bicycles and ~$7,000 in personal injuries to myself and $0 to anyone else. Of the $7,000 almost $5,000 was from a broken Jaw and facial lacerations requiring emergency surgery.
Unfortunately in my state (MA) you cannot buy any sort of uninsured motorist coverage if you do not own a car, which I do not. There is a movement to create such coverage- it’s available in Texas, Washington, and I think Virginia. I would definitely consider such insurance, because I’m afraid that there’s a high correlation between people who treat laws mandating vehicle coverage lightly with those who drive with disregard or carelessness for others
i gave away my car two years ago. had to pick up a high deductible medical policy to cover the insurance gap.
So, in this country, we are better off if we buy a junker, park it or junk it, but keep minimal ins except for highest p.i.p or medical? What a country.
The enormous increase in cost after interrupted coverage is complete BS. Insurance companies should be legally required to provide reduced price coverage for clients who become car free (for one reason or another).
looks like “right hook ville” check the painted stripe
if you study the road you can see how autos drive in the area, or other areas you may ride, I feel that it could save your life one day.
Only she wasn’t right-hooked. Driver was headed westbound according to the police description (coming at us in the photo) and the cyclist was headed eastbound. He either turned across her path.
Best wishes to the victim, and at least the kid stopped to check on her condition, unlike so many other irresponsible drivers as of late.
Given the importance and popularity of Marine Drive for bicycling, I think 45 mph is too high for this street. I wonder if PBOT would consider designating is as a “bicycle safety zone” and reduce speeds down to 35 mph max. BTW, Oregon “safe passing law” kicks in at 35 mph, so any vehicle passing a bicycle on this stretch of bike lane that doesn’t give enough space “so as to avoid the bicyclist if they were to fall over” is technically in violation of that law.
Oops. Sorry about the blockquote snafu…
oh yeah. that’s right. that law is even worse than I thought. My mistake. Thanks.
And this whole ordeal presents an opportunity.
If PPD wants good PR with the bicycling community then they need to have Ray Thomas arrange a “training update” for responding officers to show said officers just how many available statues have been violated by auto drivers in these circumstances. The officers could then write tickets and citations that are relevant and will actually hold up in court.
If the police in general could show up with less of an “auto driver is always correct” attitude/ignorance it might help.
I wonder if Mr. Babb was allowed to drive his car from the scene without insurance??
Nope. Oregon has a zero tolerance policy against driving without insurance or insufficient insurance. The cops will tow your vehicle immediately.
You are mistaken on the zero tolerance policy!!
As I wondered why a “Habitual offender” I know had not had his car towed (after being pulled over for the
7th time),I went to PPB to inquire about what the law
really is?? At first I was told “oh yes, the car gets towed”(like I was asking a really stupid question)
Then when I related that the reason I was asking is
because of “Mr. habitual O.” the cops got very “Pissy”,
with me yelling “So your calling me a liar now” and was told to leave!
I called back later that day and spoke with Sgt. Robert Hansen to find out why I was given the “Boot” and “Shown the door”… and Why this guy is still
driving? He read me the O.R.S. which states that there are many exceptions to the law reguarding
“Hardships”. The examples I were given are …
“A women with 4 kids in snowstorm”,”People with hand controls, ect.. Then told it goes on a case by case basis. So…I would not be the least be shocked to find out that he drove away with citations in the glove box(although I really hope I,m wrong)
I think proof of insurance should be required every time one buys gas. Your proof of insurance could be incorporated into a card scanned by the pump just like your rewards card. Lack of insurance should be a felony!
Could be used for suspended driver’s license, too, but would have to be ramped up to bioscan ID to be effective.
Might as well check for legal residency while we are at it.
why not, in the not too distant future we’ll have to start showing proof of insurance once a year when we pay our taxes.
@S brockway – That is a VERY interesting question. I would love to see Jonathan ask what the PPB policy is on towing people’s cars when they are stopped and don’t have proof of insurance.
It’s not up to the PPB. It’s an Oregon law and there is a zero tolerance policy resulting in your car getting towed immediately (once identified, of course).
years ago my car was towed by the police because some drunk person stumbling around it said it was theirs…
took a couple days but the police finally gave it back to me… and now they probably check to ensure who the car belongs to before they tow it…
I was not towed when I could not provide proof of insurance 7 years ago. (I did have valid insurance and my ticket was waived.)
I should note that not only could I not provide proof of insurance (at the time) but my insurance what not in the “system” when the officer tried to look it up.
So does a “driving uninsured” citation mean that he didn’t have insurance? Or maybe that he forgot his insurance card at home and thus, had no proof of insurance?
No. Driving without proof of insurance and driving uninsured (or under-insured) are two separate infractions. The police have the ability to see whether or not you have insurance in their database at the touch of a button.
Driving without proof of insurance will generally get you a “fix-it” ticket or let off with a warning.
Driving without insurance or under-insured will get your vehicle towed on the spot.
No problem. For the record, the only reason I know so much on this is because back when I actually owned a motor vehicle, I was stopped and didn’t have my insurance card (to this day I don’t know what happened to it LOL). The cop (PPB Officer Ragona, a kick-ass cop who is now a personal acquaintance of mine since he patrols my Downtown neighborhood) was nice enough to answer my questions on this.
Do you know where is ORS this law is? I would like to assert this law if I ever witness another driving-without-insurance incident.
As noted above, there is a difference. Also, as an individual it is possible to drive without insurance, as long as the car being driven is insured. For instance, if I lent my car to a friend who did not have insurance, it would be legal to show my policy attached to the car for insurance purposes. This is why lending cars to friends requires trust. It is illegal not to have some proof of Financial Responsibility in the vehicle while driving, and it is possible to “self-insure” provided that you register with the State and maintain the funds equal to minimum liability available in case of a claim.
I would note too that there are some motor vehicles that do not require insurance, such as mopeds that are less than 50cc and go less than 30mph – but they are restricted to low-speed roads.
If you are required to have a drivers license, you are required to carry insurance. Even for a moped you’ll need insurance (no motorcycle endorsement though):
You don’t need a license to operate a moped in Oregon. Says so right in that link you posted.
for everyone out there that blames the cyclist, I know her personally and she ALWAYs ride smart, attentive, safe, and within the law. She puts hundreds of training/commuting hours in and is a highly experienced cyclist
There are other enforcement models out in the world…In the UAE – drivers without proof of insurance have their vehicles taken. The insurance is tied to the vehicle title vs the individual. The UAE in many ways is a more car centric society than the NW. Gas is afterall only ~$1.25 per gallon there.
And Jonathan…I concur with your call for a lower posted speed on this roadway. This speed limit is likely an artifact of when this road was operated by the county and had much lower volumes and few bicyclists/ pedestrians – pre urban infill. This is a common weakness of transportation engineering safety review when county roadways are annexed into any urban city.
I would suggest lowering it more based on the lack of walking facilities. Though that would be difficult procedurally if such a review was only based on a strict 85th percentile evaluation vs policy and crash history. There would also have to be arterial traffic calming to enforce it.
Yes, I second that. I would suggest that the state hold a co-title to every private motor vehicle, to emphasize the “privilege” status of automobile use.
Tough beans–drive responsibly, or take your pick of learning to live carless or being completely socially disenfranchised. A car is a potential deadly weapon.
If you misuse it, society should kick your ass one way or another. I have NO empathy for many drivers, none whatsoever.
A bike is a potential deadly OBJECT also. A thing is only a weapon if the intent is to use it to cause harm.
If you misuse a bike shouldn’t it be taken away also?
A pair of scissors or a baseball bat are also “potentially weapons” but niether of those, nore a bicycle has anywhere near the killing power or risk of either an automobile or a gun which are about equal in killing effectiveness.
Cars are at least 3 orders of magnitude (1000 times) more effect at injuring or damaging people or property than bicycles.
There are countless everday objects that are “potentially deadly objects” in the extreme: rocks, baseballs, 2X4s, nails, nail guns, hammers, crow bars, wrenches, pitch forks, wooden stakes, candle sticks, lawn mowers, chain saws, etc.. So yes, a bicylists is capable of causing death or injury – so are thousands of other activities and objects. However, certain things are inherrently of a much higher risk hurting innocent bystanders and driving a 3,000 pound peice of iron at 75mph happens to be at the TOP of the list, not the bottom.
F=ma (“Force equals mass multiplied by acceleration” for those who don’t find physics enthralling).
Anyone who wants to compare the threat from cars to the threat from bicycles has to ignore Newton’s Second Law of Motion.
A bicycle can cause harm, but then so can running into a person at full speed on foot. Impact at speeds under 20 MPH is fatal only when the victim’s head hits the ground, regardless of was the person hit by a bicycle, jogger, or a motor vehicle. Of course that assumes the motor vehicle doesn’t actually physically crush the victim by running them over.
Now, depending on speed a motor vehicle can be as much as 200 times as deadly as a gun. Bullets (from guns) are 9% fatal when they hit someone, motor vehicles are from 5% to <100% fatal, with the crossover point being around 25 MPH. Only about 1 in 20 bullets actually hit someone when a trigger is pulled, there are documented cases of cops and bad guys squaring off at 20 feet and firing 6 bullets each with nobody getting hit because bullets are small and have to be aimed precisely. If someone is trying to hit you with a car they generally do, because motor vehicles are much larger than the target they're trying to hit.
The thing is it is sometimes quite hard to miss hitting someone with a motor vehicle because of the size of the projectile. This is why motor vehicle operators are required to have insurance, because their vehicles are so deadly, and because it can be hard to not hit people sometimes.
By that logic, deadly weapons should be insured, or their owners; .357’s, .45s, automatic whatevers. Seriously.
What a good idea! 😉
First, best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery to the cyclist.
Now, to get on my soapbox, one of the things we hear repeatedly is that bikes should be licensed and riders required to carry insurance. Ostensibly, this would protect innocent drivers and pedestrians who suffer damage or injury by a bike as well as allow identifying riders who break traffic rules.
This week we have this story about a cyclist hurt by an uninsured motorist and are told that the police are at a dead end in finding the truck that hit Ms. Wall on Naito despite the fact that it probably had a license plate. Looks like licensing and insurance requirements aren’t the panacea some claim they are. In fact, it would almost appear that proponents for them are more interested in finding a way to punish cyclists than they are in protecting anyone.
Amen. I say Misery Loves Company, and most non-cyclists are miserable and want some company. As we’ve seen in several examples, licenses, insurance, and registration don’t seem to make drivers any safer, or necessarily more trackable (this story as one example). On the flip side, I’ve heard of many an “enforcement action” that proves neither licenses nor registration are required for cyclists to get what’s coming to them for wanton disregard of stop signs.
Here’s what I don’t understand: Motorists want cyclists “out of the way”. Therefore it is to their own benefit to have bike lanes and such to keep us confined there. It is because drivers cannot be trusted to operate safely that many cyclists want protected byways. Any way you slice it, construction of bike “facilities” is either necessary due to–or provides a huge benefit to–motorists. Why then is there such resistance to even painting bike lane stripes? Why should I pay to build my own ghetto?
Sorry my 2nd paragraph there almost seems like a non sequitur–the link is that usually those who want to collect registration fees for bicycles like to claim that cyclists aren’t “paying their fair share”, and “if ‘they’ want all this fancy infrastructure, ‘they’ should pay for it!” As if a registration fee would pay for anything. To muhc coofee tody!!
“Why should I pay to build my own ghetto?”
To answer that would invoke Godwin’s Law.
Why is it so easy to drive without insurance in Oregon, and how can we make it impossible?
It’s easy to drive ANYWHERE without insurance. I drove for 3 months in MI without insurance before realizing that AAA wasn’t taking my payments automatically.
I had my license REVOKED in South Carolina after my last collision (total loss – 2 vehicles – no injuries).
SC State law requires that you file your “accident” report with your insurer with in 30 days; the insurer then forwards extra info on to the state DMV office.
I walked mine up to my State Farm agent’s office less than .25 mile from home with in the first week.
Then I forgot about it.
Due to lack of vehicle I had to move closer to my new better paying job. What I learned is that, to this day, USPS registered mail is not forwarded to a new address when you move – EVEN IF you file the USPS “change of address” form.
Fast forward 9 ~ 11 months: I’m trying to get in to the military. MEPS wants my driving record and for some inexplicable reason the US Military can’t get it. I drive to the DMV, by myself, and find that they revoked it because they didn’t get the accident report from the insurer. I know I filed it. The State Farm office didn’t file it because the franchise holder for that office was off on a 3 MONTH GOLF JUNKET! This is despite the fact that there 2 other office workers there the whole time.
Come on, didn’t you spring for the Incompetent Insurer Insurance?
Dropped State Farm forever.
Results with State Farm will be extremely varied for the same reason as McDonalds: they are independent franchises with minmal oversight and few standards.
It is basicly a sales job for real estate agents that want to retire and have a good public/community image.
Insurance is so difficult to sell that sales rely on the likeability of the agent versus products & services.
USAA all the way.
Q. “Why is it so easy to drive without insurance”?
A. Because vehicles don’t know who is driving them and will obey the wishes of anyone who can get them started.
Q. “[H]ow can we make it impossible?”
A. By mandating that autos be able to connect to some database wherein lies information about the person who just scanned their driver’s license, insurance card, or thumbprint into a reader in the dashboard that will check to see that all licensing, traffic violation, and insurance data is kosher before allowing the car to start.
Mandating this kind of “smart car” is probably politically impossible, and I wouldn’t trust makers of such devices or holders of the data any farther than I could throw them, but does the potential for abuse of such a system by authorities outweigh the benefits?
I’ll add this technology to my oil burning tumor as soon as I fix the radio.
I’m thinking more on the legislative end, the technology fix is an interesting idea.
It seems Oregon’s system has enough loopholes to make driving without insurance very easy to do. In New York State, you can’t cancel your insurance without turning in your plates. Driving without insurance there is risky business, and carries heavy penalties and license suspension/impoundment if you are caught driving without.
I’ve witnessed a Portland PO shrug and do nothing after finding out a driver who doored a cyclist was operating a car without insurance. You would think that would be grounds for immediate license suspension and/or impoundment of car until proof of new insurance is provided.
Considering how many folks are also without health insurance, it’s not a great feeling to know there are so many folks operating cars out there with no liability coverage.
To me, this is a symptom of how little respect we give to the responsibility of owning and operating a vehicle. I wonder what sort of legislative changes or reform within the DMV could make driving without insurance incredibly difficult.
Sorry Steve B I couldn’t reply directly to your post so I hope you see this.
More Information: http://www.serenitygroup.com/oregon-sr22-insurance/
From the second link (directly above; of interest to note here): “If you drive a vehicle that is uninsured and are involved in an accident, your driving privileges will be suspended for one year.”
excellent!! thank you!
My husband works for a trucking company that has issued a “No Marine Drive” policy for their drivers due to the high accident rate along there.
Just posted an interesting follow up to this story. Metro recently bought easement rights that will someday extend the Marine Drive Trail at the precise spot where Karey Swan was hit.
Here’s to a speedy recovery!
Lowering the speed limit there sounds like a good start.
Before we moved to Portland last year I sold a car to a coworker. He told me he transfered the title right away, so I canceled the insurance on that vehicle. (It was a classic car so it was on a separate policy.) A week later I get a letter from the State (Florida) telling me that my drivers license will be suspended because I owned a car with no insurance. My “friend” hadn’t transfered the title like he told me. Needless to say, he got it done STAT. Still, there must be loopholes in Florida, too, because there are a lot of people who drive without insurance.
There’s a pretty simple way to make sure that motorists are insured: Require that you buy a minimum level of insurance from the state. Such schemes work in other jurisdictions such as where I grew up. Thus, your insurance is linked to your driver’s licence. One could always buy extra private coverage for a specific vehicle(s). But all licence holders would have some form of basic liability coverage. In that way one wouldn’t be able to have a driver’s licence without also having insurance. That wouldn’t stop unlicenced drivers from not having insurance. But it would effectively end the possiblity of being a non insured but legally licenced driver.
same thing bro.. front, or back side.. damn ppl cant slow down for a bike person.. sorry just all pent up
about how car ppl act.
sooo true… or talk on my cell / text hiding it
Perhaps the bike lobby would talk to our bike friendly police commish (Adams) about stricter enforcement of the no licence no insurance asee end of a crash or moving violation. Afterall…elections are getting closer.
A true bummer, get well soon and happy easter. Sadly another great reminder that no matter how experienced or defensively you ride ” your car” is out there. Be careful everyone .
My Prayers go out to Karey for a speedy and complete recovery.
What if liability insurance was linked to your drivers license, rather than to the car? To have a valid drivers license, you must carry liability insurance. Car insurance would be totally seperate, and just cover the value of any car you own.
How about just talking about the the issue of truely being responsible less your transportation mode. foolishness abounds along with confusion,texting,and other things distracting. Know the rules know the truth. Stand back and watch, just not at the Park in NE.