(Photos: Oregon State Police)
A man was seriously injured after he was struck from behind while bicycling on Highway 101 yesterday. The collision occurred at around 11:25 a.m. just north of the Coos/Curry County line.
Oregon State Police say that 52 year old Marcellus Tijdink from the Netherlands, was biking southbound on the shoulder of the highway near milepost 285 when he was struck by 62-year old Bethany Peck, who was driving a Toyota 4-Runner. The OSP reported this morning that Tijdink remains in the hospital and that “he is alert and his condition is improving.”
Here’s more from the OSP statement:
According to Sergeant John Keeler, on July 25, 2012 at approximately 11:25 a.m. a 1997 Toyota 4-Runner driven by BETHANY A. PECK, age 62, from Langlois, was southbound on Highway 101 near milepost 285 when it struck a bicyclist along the southbound shoulder. The bicyclist, MARCELLUS TIJDINK, age 52, from Netherlands, was transported by Bay City Ambulance to Bay City Hospital with serious, non-life threatening injuries. He was traveling alone and was not wearing a protective helmet.
The OSP also says that Ms. Peck’s husband William, age 63, came onto the scene and “was visibly impaired.” Mr. Peck was subsequently arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants.
Ms. Peck has not been cited or charged with anything at this time, and the Coos County District Attorney’s Office is continuing an investigation into the cause of the collision.
19 days ago a woman was seriously injured while bicycling in the shoulder of Highway 101 near Cannon Beach.
Stay tuned for updates.
A human life is worth so much more than this … even in just grey market organ sales.
Putting a monetary value on anything is arbitrary, so we could also say a human life is worth so much less than this. Need we the concept of “worth” to determine how to treat each other? I certainly hope not.
My winged point was that even the most merciless profiteer knows that a human life is worth more than the previously stated $260 fine.
Realistically we shouldn’t place a monetary fine on death as a matter of law but that is what we as a society do.
<shrug>what can ya do? </shrug>
I’m cross-posting this comment that I made on the rideroregonride.com website, which is maintained by Travel Oregon. They’re promoting this ride as a tourist destination, and I think they’ve been remiss in not making any statements about the Christeen Osborn collision — and at a higher level, working towards making cycling on the coast a safer experience.
Two cyclists have been hit by cars and critically injured while cycling the Oregon coast in the past month: Christeen Osborn and Marcellus Tijdink.
I think that in promoting this route as a tourist attraction, Travel Oregon has a responsibility to work towards ensuring the safety of touring cyclists. What does Travel Oregon do to promote improved infrastructure (wider shoulders, guard rails, rumble strips to keep drivers from leaving the road, etc.) and driver education on the coast bike route? Why haven’t we seen any statements from Travel Oregon about the latest incidents and the responsibility of motorists on Highway 101 to share the road responsibly with cyclists?
Don….I agree somewhat with your comments. I have mentioned it before, but I think publicizing 101 as a bike-friendly tourist route is irresponsible…I am a very experienced cyclist, riding close to 10,000 miles a year the last 20 years and would never consider an extended ride on 101. All the factors mentioned by other posters: RV’s, narrow or no shoulders, gawkers, etc. It will be decades, if ever, that 101 is made safe for cyclists. For now, head out east or south, where the antelopes roam.
The problem with your argument, steve, is that by focusing on the narrow shoulders you are redirecting attention away from inattentive drivers who are the real problem. The crashes on Hwy 101 of late that I can think of have not by and large been on narrow twisty sections but on straight-aways in broad daylight. Although I sympathize with the idea that because of the topography and shoulder width 101 *should be* more dangerous I don’t think statistics bear this out.
“…redirecting attention away from inattentive drivers who are the real problem. …” 9watts
In what Hwy 101 collision involving someone on a bike and someone operating a motor vehicle, would you be claiming that inattention on the part of the person behind the wheel was the problem?
Going back to the Oct 3/2011 collision involving a person driving a PT cruiser, and two ladies on bikes, there was wild speculation about why to person behind the wheel ran into the ladies, inattention being one of the reasons speculated on. After months of the county working on the case with little news about investigations or proceedings, in the end, inattention wasn’t determined to be the cause, at least not strictly so, but instead, ‘reckless driving’ was determined to be the cause:
Cause of the more recent Hwy 101 collision on July 7 is yet to be determined. Same with this most recent collision. Based on those three collisions, it’s not at all certain that inattention is the real problem contributing to collisions on Hwy 101.
Hair = split?
‘inattention’ was my short hand for dangerous, flawed, distracted, inconsiderate, or using bad judgment–in short, driver error and not due to the topography which steve seems to think is the problem on Hwy 101.
You can (and no doubt will) argue here that Wanda Cortese and others were not inattentive, or that we should withhold judgment until the authorities (whose judgments and findings you seem to hold in much higher regard than some of us here) are made available. But given what we know about biking and physics and responsibilities of a driver I think that amounts to special pleading.
Oh, and before you complain that steve didn’t say ‘topography’ let me explain that that was my shorthand for “narrow or no shoulders,” which as far as we know was not a factor in any of the three most recent cases of people driving SUVs (for purposes of fuel economy regulations a PT Cruiser is classified as a light truck – go figure) into people riding bikes on Hwy 101.
I haven’t, and still at this point, wouldn’t argue that Cortese was not inattentive, because facts explaining the cause of that may not yet have fully determined, and certainly haven’t yet been reported.
The guy in the collision of Oct 3/2011, apparently had been treated for cancer with meds. Inattention perhaps, but not of the more common types people think of, associated with distracted driving; cell phones, texting, tending to kids, dogs, etc.
As for Scarich, he implied much more about 101 than the road’s topography:
“…All the factors mentioned by other posters: RV’s, narrow or no shoulders, gawkers, etc. It will be decades, if ever, that 101 is made safe for cyclists. …”
correction: “…explaining the cause of that collision may not yet have been fully determined…”
If you have in illness or need to take meds that make it unsafe for you to drive then it is your responsibility to not get behind the wheel.
I’m not sure what you’re arguing here, that its ok to mow people down with your car because you have cancer??? Couldn’t the meds or the illness affected the drivers ability to concentrate on the task at hand?
Thats why they put those warnings on pill bottles. “Don’t drive when you take this”
“…Couldn’t the meds or the illness affected the drivers ability to concentrate on the task at hand? …” esther c
For sure. And he most likely knew it and drove anyway, which it seems is why he got the reckless driving citation, conviction and sentence.
In other words, eventually, State and County officials were able to figure out the reasons the guy left the road and collided with someone. That allowed them to take the correct action, rather than just arbitrarily assigning a citation that may not have addressed the problems that caused the collision.
In my mind ‘gawkers’ include inattentive drivers. I agree with you, they are probably the biggest cause of serious accidents, but I have no statistics to back this statement up.
I dunno, I biked the 101 all the way to california last year by myself, and had a great time. I’m a regular bike commuter, but it was my first time on tour and didn’t have much experience. I think it was a wonderful, beautiful ride — definitely one of the best trips I’ve ever taken.
I’ve done this route before, at least the Portland to San Francisco portion. There are a few sketchy stretches but overall I have to say I consider it to be a reasonably safe ride. If the problem is that drivers are going over the fog line, well, that could happen anywhere.
I would point out also, that there is just not an occasional cyclist along this route, several thousand people make this journey every year (‘i’m guessing). I met dozens on my journey. The route is set up to do north to south; the winds are favorable in Summer and the bike lane going south-to-north is sacrificed to make a wider lane north-to-south.
My heart sinks every time I hear the same tragic story repeated again and again.
When will drivers be held accountable? It is empty public relations hype that Oregon is bicycle friendly when drivers are allowed to hit cyclists without real consequences.
I agree with Gramps. We don’t live in cycle-utopia just yet, and it’s time for the vulnerable user law to be triggered (pending more details of course).
I don’t know, but that sort of looks like a helmet to me (last picture – under the bike seat). Perhaps, being from the Netherlands he wasn’t used to (needing) a helmet and it wasn’t on very tight?
Doesn’t say he didn’t *have* one; says he was not *wearing* one. (‘Cause we all know wearing it would have prevented the collision; sigh.)
I live and commute on the coast, but I minimize my time on 101 because the shoulders on this already narrow 2 lane highway are also very narrow in spots, and because I’ve seen local drivers swerving into the ‘bike lane / shoulder’ while preoccupied at 55mph — one was quite literally applying makeup in the rear view mirror.
I’m pleasantly surprised every summer to find a relatively small number of bike/car accidents reported on 101.
“According to Sergeant John Keeler, on July 25, 2012 at approximately 11:25 a.m. a 1997 Toyota 4-Runner driven by BETHANY A. PECK, age 62, from Langlois, was southbound on Highway 101 near milepost 285 when it struck a bicyclist along the southbound shoulder.”
Notice that it was the car that struck the bicyclist. Ms. Peck just happened to be in the vehicle.
Are you saying the report’s dictation implies lack of responsibility on the part of Ms. Peck? If so, I would have to disagree with you, citing that phrase “driven by”.
You’re of course free to disagree, but I challenge you to find the same passive voice used in a police report of a situation where someone on a bike runs into or over, e.g., a pedestrian.
“According to Sergeant Marvin Portman, on July 25, 2012 at approximately 11:25 a.m. a 1984 Miyata Trail-Runner ridden by MARCUS W. GARGOYLE, age 23, from Gresham, was westbound on Foster Rd. approaching the intersection at SE Holgate when it struck a pedestrian in the southbound crosswalk.”
I don’t have any desire to search for and sift through reports, but even a lack of parallel wording between bicycle-striking-auto and auto-striking-bicycle reports is no direct indication that any bias we claim is influencing the reports. If you have examples of reports you think maliciously frame cyclists, feel free to share them, and I’ll let you know what I think about them, too.
If you asked me a couple months ago, I’d have said potential cyclists fears about being hit from behind were silly and unfounded. Why, after all, would any road user fail to understand that you cannot go through another vehicle in front of you; you must either wait or go around…
Sadly, it appears I am wrong about this.
HFB (Hit From Behind) collisions used to be rare, because apparently drivers used to look at what was in front of them, i.e., outside the vehicle. Now they apparently spend more time looking at what is in front of them inside the vehicle. It is egregious that distracted driving is still seemingly on the rise. There should be some kind of augmented penalty for hitting something that has been consistently in front of you for more than 5 seconds.
I was just reading the other day that HFB have gone from 1 out of every 22 fatal wrecks to one in four. In my blog i notice that the reported wrecks are even higher than that, about half of the wrecks are hit-from-behind, and a goodly number were people that saw the cyclist but just didn’t move over to pass. The ones where the cyclist gets hit riding off the side of the road, not even on the road, are the most troubling to me because all the driver had to do to not cause a wreck was to stay on the freaking road. Why is it so hard for drivers to stay on the road? And why when drivers hit cyclists that are not on the road do LEO not bother to arrest the driver for criminal incompetence?
I don’t think “criminal incompetence” is in the vehicle code in any state. Probably because you don’t really need to be competent to get a license. Many drivers are competent, they just don’t need to be. Given our (in the U.S.) low standards, it is almost as though there is no such thing as “incompetence” when it comes to driving–you either follow rules or break rules, and when you break the rules, oh well!
Yesterday a driver came exceptionally close to me; she was driving maybe a foot over the fog line into the very wide shoulder I was on (San Tomas Xway, Santa Clara, CA). As we stopped at the red light I fully expected to see her texting, talking, or even eating. Nope! She was just staring off in a daze (stopped still partly over the fog line). Sometimes people are just tired, low blood sugar, or just plain bad drivers.
Her window was down so I (as politely as possible) said “Which lane are you driving in? You barely missed hitting me, please pay more attention.” I’m sure I was just written off as yet another entitled cyclist who thinks the rules of the road revolve around me.
“…She was just staring off in a daze (stopped still partly over the fog line). Sometimes people are just tired, low blood sugar, or just plain bad drivers.
Her window was down so I (as politely as possible) said “Which lane are you driving in? …” Pete
A possible, alternative question in such a situation: ‘Miss/ma’am …Are you O.K.? ‘. Sometimes people actually do have medical emergencies while they’re driving. If there seems to be an obvious possibility that’s happening, as it seems there may have been in the situation you described, there’s nothing wrong with asking.
Pete, a frightening number of Oregonians are addicted to prescription narcotics and continue to drive. I know of people taking 240 mg and greater of oxycodone a day plus additional for “breakthrough pain” that continue to drive.
The true wonder is that its not a demolition derby out there. something like 10-15 percent of all Oregonians are addicted to prescription drugs. It is not considered a reason for taking away someone’s drivers license.
Best wishes for rapid recovery to Mr. Tijdink. I hope this horrible crash is not what he remembers most about the US. 🙁
It’s hard to believe that the coast bike route is such a vital transportation and tourism link that our state DOT publishes a bike specific map for it – yet there are not better safe guards like speed limits on it to mitigate crashes like these. I’ll be biking along the coast this weekend myself and reading about these crashes makes me feel horrible.
“Mr. Peck was subsequently arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants.”
“Ms. Peck has not been cited or charged with anything at this time…”
If Ms. Peck is not cited I think this will present an interesting comparison.
Drink + drive + get caught = trouble;
run someone over with your car = maybe nothing.
In the case of Mr. Peck being cited, it seems there was clear evidence to prove Mr. Peck broke whatever laws exist that deem intoxicated driving punishable. In the case of Mrs. Peck “running someone over” with her car, it seems there was not clear evidence to prove what laws, if any, Mrs. Peck had broken. Historically, I have no doubt innocent people have paid fines and spent time in jail, so I’m a bit disappointed anybody feels the need to make immediate citations in such cases a priority. In my opinion, intoxicated driving requires negligence for the lives of others. Aren’t such intentions, perceived as harmful by those who hold them, what we aim for laws to stop? In the case of Mrs. Peck, was there any harmful intent that Mrs. Peck understood as harmful intent, or was it something else that caused her failure to drive within regulation? We have some laws meant to uphold the ideal behind that old phrase “innocent until proven guilty”, and it seems we have them to protect people like Mrs. Peck.
In short, I don’t think the comparison you proposed is quite as insinuating as many might think at first glance. Can we finally move on beyond the questioning of motives behind latent citation?
Not many details in the OSP statement, if that’s it in entirety.
Re; helmet: “…Tijdink was not wearing a helmet, contrary to a previous report by the Oregon State Police. The man’s helmet was attached to his handlebars. …” jung/Oregonian
That’s something, that driver of the vehicle, Beth Peck’s husband would show up to collision scene, drunk. I suppose she cell-phoned him after the collision to tell him where on 101 she was. Maybe, roused by the emergency of his wife rolling into someone on a bike and not being injured, he just ‘forgot’ he was drunk.
“the emergency of his wife rolling into someone on a bike”
wsbob, did you just make that up? Do you fancy Hwy 101 a roller rink?
9watts…ease up. It was just a bit of sarcasm.
more like bumper-cars…
but like most things with wheels, yes, she probably rolled into him…
This is really frustrating. Another wide-open, straight stretch of 101 with a wide shoulder. My guess would be another driver that gets away without any charges.
“…My guess would be another driver that gets away without any charges. …” Chris I
That’s presumptuous. There’s been no word that the OSP has completed investigation and not cited. Same for Hwy 100 collision in Clatsop County. You’ll perhaps remember that the driver involved in the collision occurring before the Clatsop County collision, was eventually convicted and sentenced. It took awhile, with quite a long period of no news about what was going on, but it did eventually happen.
This again illustrates why police should be frequently ticketing for failure to maintain a lane, and not just using it as pretense for a Duii stop.
We frequently do very expensive, well publicized seat belt enforcement actions despite the fact we have 97% compliance.
Not piloting your vehicle within the lines, cutting corners, drifting in an out of your lane is a terrible and dangerous (to other people) habit. I see this way too often everywhere.
What I think is an acceptable interim solution until our laws allow automated ticketing is to simply put these cameras up as violation recorders.
Sure all the accumulated footage of a car weaving out of lane, speeding and blowing stop signs might not in itself be a ticketable offence BUT when an officer shows up on scene and has to make a decision on who was the cause of an incident it might be nice to be able to show that one driver is more careless day in an day out than the other.
I see people purposely driving over the fog or bike lane all the time, around 1 in 50 cars do it. I really can’t figure it out, either. I think there should be immediate death penalty application if you are too dumb to follow the frickin’ lanes. Its like all the first graders failed coloring book class.
But sometimes going outside the lines in coloring books is encouraged. What about those who have received mixed messages? 😛
So the collision occurs at 11:25 a.m., and the driver’s husband then arrives on the scene already intoxicated. I’m glad the OSP nabbed him before he got the chance to cause his own carnage.
Is beer now a breakfast food?
Alcoholism is very prevalent in the more rural parts of Oregon. Per capita rates are much higher.
Also alcohol mixes poorly with many of the pharmaceuticals that the elderly are increasingly dosed with thses days.
If the victim has citizenship in the Netherlands then this could have a good outcome if he presses for maximum citations and punishment of the assailant through his consulate… hopefully he can set the standard for enforcement, fines, and punishment via political power…
International incident anyone?
Unfounded hyperbole about how America’s roads are as dangerous as the “green zone” in Baghdad?
Warning! Warning! Tourists don’t come to America unless you want to get mowed down by their irresponsible and unpunishable drivers!
All kidding aside I like your idea.
This is a great point and a great idea. I hope he chooses to do so in the all-too-likely event that absolutely no punishment will come down from OSP for this.
Have you any awareness of the punishment determining factors currently taking place? Unless you have comprehensive awareness of those factors, I’d suggest holding off on putting faith in any likelihood.
Another cycling tourist injured – that sucks. Oregon has a great reputation for being a good place to bike. Let’s not lose that by letting drivers get away with bad driving.
Another tourist injured on hwy 101: http://bikeportland.org/2012/06/04/man-receives-jail-time-assault-conviction-for-highway-101-collision-72693
Yip watch just a fine for running someone down in the sholder/bike line.
can we get pull your head out of your @ss signs so this will stop?
Is there any mechanism for the local biking community to help Mr. Tijdink out with maybe a ride to the airport, a place to stay, etc.?
62 year old driver! WTF I’m just saying..
I knew someone would have to bite on that. How many here will be voluntarily turning in their licenses down the road, if and when you survive to whatever age you now think is “decrepit”? None of us, of course. You know it’s true.
Odds are she was on the phone to her husband which is speculatively why she “drifted” into our European friend’s physical space.
Phone calls and texting are skewed hugely to -younger- drivers, and I submit that this is an extreme risk to vulnerable road users, and should be banned. Oh wait, it is. Licenses should be revoked for it. BTW, I was rear-ended by a texting twenty something (I was in a car thankfully).
You’re just saying that you buy in to the stereotype that age is completely accurate indicator of driver inability and that all other possible factors are irrelevant.
University of California Transportation Center study puts 55-64 year old females in nearly the lowest risk pool, second by just a small margin to 64-69 year olds, and around half the risk of under 25 year old females and under 35 year old males. I speculate that other risk factors are involved in this collision.
Heal fast and well, Mr. Tijdink!
I hope Mr. Tijdink’s health insurance will cover the costs of care in an American hospital. Until a citation is issued to the driver, I doubt that her insurance will be paying for his hospitalization.
Between our drivers and medical system, cycle touring in the U.S. must be considered an extreme sport from the European perspective…
Actually thanks to Oregon’ s PIP law (personal injury protection) her insurance will pay for it regardless of whether she is deemed at fault.
Thanks for the info. My only experience with this issue was when my wife was knocked off her bike by a guy driving a pickup . . . uninsured.
Wow, cars are really dangerous! Maybe they should be banned from 101.
So, her husband got in his vehicle, while drunk, to drive to the scene to check on his wife?
It will be sad of the husband gets more fines, citations, and penatlies compared to his wife. I do think driving while intoxicated is one of the worst decisions someone could make and he should not be let off. However, his wife actually hit someone.
It is at least possible that someone in a car collides with someone on a bike, and the driver is not culpable (e.g., if the person on the bike rides through a red light into the flow of traffic). But anyone getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated is making a choice to break the law and endanger others.
I think what’s being mentioned here is DUI has a very high potential for causing a wreck, vs actually having a wreck with serious injury. While DUI is very serious, actually hitting someone and causing injury is worse.
Calling one “worse” than the other is a matter of opinion.
I don’t think it is a matter of opinion, Caleb.
There are lots of potential dangers out there, DUII being a fairly commonly recognized one, and driving sober being a much less easily recognized one.
But Ms. Peck did not present a potential danger, she actually was dangerous, committed an act that injured someone with her car enough to send him to the hospital (and bring her husband out of his man cave). Where some of us are going with this is that it seems entirely plausible that the potential danger of DUII is met with considerably more serious penalties than the actual danger of running over another human being with your car.
If this speculation turns out to be confirmed then we have an additional problem.
i don’t want to come off sounding like westside robert here, but it seems to me that running someone over through “simple” neglect should be “punished” primarily through civil liability, with state sanction in the form of points against the eventual loss of driving privileges, and fines sufficient to cover the cost of administering the relevant processes, while driving drunk, even without hurting anyone, should be punished (not in quotes) by immediate, permanent revocation and some serious community service, and some public shaming.
“…committed an act…” 9watts
Again, you’re speculating without facts. All that’s known and reported at present about this most recent collision, is that Peck was behind the wheel of her vehicle when it left the road and collided with someone on a bike. It’s not been reported that she ‘committed’ anything relative to this collision. Investigations may determine whether Peck’s hitting the person on the bike was due to carelessness or something else.
DUI is a known, illegal act, and it’s fairly easy to test for. Not so with ‘careless driving’. What’s the ‘test’ for ‘careless driving’? In Oregon’s 911.135, not very good.
I said it’s a matter of opinion, because the qualitative measures we call “better” and “worse” are opinions. There is neither without opinion.
In cases of potential danger, do you support the penalties for any reason other than to potentially remove neglect for human life from those who create the potential danger? Aside from generating revenue, which I care not to discuss in this thread, what other reasons do we penalize people for? I can think of none.
But actual danger I see differently. Actual danger starts as potential danger, too. After all, if nobody was on the shoulder when Mrs. Peck drove on it, we wouldn’t be having this specific discussion. But was there any neglect in the choices that created the potential which allowed the actual danger to occur? Is it impossible for someone to make choices that create potential danger without recognizing those choices as ones that will do so? Could it be possible that people can, with every intention to keep the road safe for all users, make choices which create potential danger for others? We call them mistakes, but do we need to penalize such mistakes if the behavior we want penalties to remove doesn’t exist in the first place? I don’t think so.
So I agree that actual danger and potential danger should be treated similarly, but would go further to say that intentional potential danger should be treated differently than unintentional potential danger, and I’d say the same for actual danger, too. So yes, if we see intentional actual danger being penalized less than intentional potential danger, then I’d have gripes similar to yours, but we don’t see that in this case, because there is an ongoing investigation with Mrs. Peck’s case. Let’s complain after the sentencing if it turns out what you’re getting at is indeed the case.
And yet another obligatory mention of whether the cyclist was wearing a helmet. Why don’t they understand that if you get mowed down from behind, a helmet will not save you?
Anybody else notice how many of these crashes involve SUVs and “mini”vans? I can’t decide if that’s because people can’t drive the damn half-city bus-sized things or whether it because there are just so damn many of them on the roads. (And yes, since I’m being subtle here, I seriously dislike SUVs and “mini”vans. I will never understand their popularity.)
The well-publicized crash from last year where two cyclists were seriously injured involved a PT Cruiser.
Actually it can. Twenty years ago I was hit from behind by someone going approx. 55 mph. I flipped over the car and landed on my forehead which was covered by my helmet. There were gouges in the hardshell and the foam under the hardshell was cracked in half. I had a concussion and facial fractures but without that i have no doubt it would have been worse or fatal. Just an ancdote but very real to me.
What is terrifying is the number of people that are legally taking narcotics in massive doses prescribed by their physicians and they continue to drive. Its a wonder its not more of a demolition derby out there.
Perhaps it is time for the BTA, AAA, Oregon Bar Association or the legislature to educate local police forces as to when they fill out a crash report to either only record behavior that created the incident or at a minimum add the following bracketed text after stating lack of protective head gear use [“…which is not required under Oregon State law”].
I worry that the all too common addition of the helmet information in crash reporting is a potentially prejudicial text when juries become involved later on. Additionally, the cyclist may be unable to wear protective head gear due to religious belief or practice, and the responding officer cannot be aware of this in totality at the time of the incident (ORS 814.487).
Unless local police forces are going to mention the lack of protective headgear use in cyclist crash reports…they should then do this for all crash reports….like when a pedestrian or a driver of [an older non-airbag] car is involved in a traffic crash – then there would be some equity of the use of this additional information in Oregon crash reporting.
Additional the use of the work “accident” is another out of date term used still too often versus the more technically appropriate “crash” or “collision”. [In this incident it seems to have been avoided.]
Note the above typically would apply to adults.
Given US101 function and substandard design (no sidewalks, narrow, inadequate shoulder, etc.) perhaps it is time to reclassify this route as a scenic/ heritage highway.
There are many design tools typically used in rural highways and roads in Northern Europe that can reinforce a lowered speed limit and safely handle multimodal uses and main street commercial functions. The longer we wait the worse it gets and more loss of life and limb.
The problem with this road is that Congress nor Salem will never be able/nor willing to fund its reconstruction to modern high speed standards. Nor would many property owners want to give up driveway access, views, landscaping, and property such a design standard would take.
Please elaborate on how a redesignation can possibly make a difference.
Take in to account that their are residents and businesses that must use this every day.
Please also consider what happens when you attempt to derate a section of road for freight traffic.
For example: I have picked up quite a few loads of paper, usually around 44,000 lbs in a 53′ trailer, from Toledo – just a few miles east of Newport. Hwy 20 west from Corvallis is the best route by car and I would prefer to keep my large commercial motor vehicle on the interstate system as long as possible. Unfortunately I cannot legally nor safely drive such a long and heavy vehicle down this road; I must drag a maximum weight load through a confused tourist zone.
I’m not sure what would work other than greatly increased enforcement and scare campaigns (horribly wrecked vehicles intentionally placed in plain view in known hazard areas).
Oregon: The State Bikes Dream Of
I really wonder whether this notion that drivers get a free pass in these situations is even the least bit accurate. The media attention on these stories lasts a few days at the most. Sometimes the police don’t have enough information/evidence to issue a citation, and that seems outrageous and unfair when you have an injured cyclist who was minding their own business on the shoulder. But we have a very effective tort law system that steps in to punish wrongdoers and help victims. And the media almost always drops the story before the personal injury lawsuit even starts. Pre-trial settlements are always confidential.
I just rode 101 for the first time this week. Never again. Why the BTA has let this happen for so long is a mystery to me? BTA staff I’d really like you all to chime in here.
It’s too dangerous for even the most skilled cyclist. Please do not ride 101, and do not suggest people ride it on bikes. We should not even allow bike maps of 101 to exist.
I’ve ridden from St. Louis to DC when bikes were much less common, and in 12 days of Kentucky and Virginia I never had one of the many near death experiences of 101 in just 3 days. I’ve ridden about 200 miles a week for 25 years.
a) There is a tunnel near Manzanita. Death trap 4 bikes. Even if cyclists press a button the cars ignore the blinking sign that says 30mph. Imagine you in a tunnel with cars and massive RVs’ and log trucks trying to pass you at 60mph in a 12 foot lane with a curb rather than a shoulder. The blinking sign also goes off too soon. I saw a slow cyclist nearly run down because he needed another 2 minutes to finish the tunnel in the uphill direction.
The fix would be to make the tunnel 25mph at all times. It’s only about a quarter mile. Cops could setup a radar sting and all day long rake in $600 for an endless supply of cars doing 60 in a 30mph zone.
b) Too many bridges and curves where there is no shoulder for bikes and the lane is 12 feet or less. Cars can’t see bikes. Going 50mph there leaves about one second for the car driver to see the cyclist before the car reaches the cyclists.
The fix would be
i) make a 25mph zone for these spots and the quarter mile leading up to them.
ii) put up signs all up and down 101 saying that bikes have full use of the lane and cars must wait and pass with 8 feet of room.
I’m guessing that each day there are 20 cyclists headed south, and just one or two headed north. Given the large volume of cars there would be no added trip time with the new fixes. Cars would have to slow for bikes, and then pass only to rush up to slow down behind another car.
Do the math folks. Mr. Tijdink this week and 3 weeks ago two women. Ride 101 and you’ve got a 1% chance of being mowed down and put in a hospital and incapacitated for life. I’d really like the BTA and ODOT to chime in…
You clearly have an extremely low tolerance for risk. As to “why the BTA has let this happen…”, either you are a member and are despite your best efforts you haven’t been able to influence them on this, or you are confused about how volunteer organizations work.
It seems to me that careless driving defines this sort of situation, operating a vehicle that in a manner that harms someone. And the vulnerable user law further defines it as careless driving that harms a certain type of road user.
Seems pretty self explanatory to me.
I’m thinking that the current system places too much emphasis on the state of the driver, and not enough emphasis on the state of the victim. What I think should be done is if you have an at-fault wreck with injury (and define “at-fault” to mean the operator of the potentially deadly device could have dome something to prevent the wreck, including driving slower) then you lose your license for a period of time, with the period being anything from one month to ten years depending on what the driver could have done to avoid the wreck and the seriousness of the injuries. Now kill someone in an “at-fault” wreck and you might as well start shopping for a bike or hire a driver because the minimum time you are going to lose your license is 10 years, and depending on how badly you’re “at-fault” you could lose your license for life. If it’s something like the basic speed law that gets the minimum suspension, but if there were aggravating circumstance like failure to maintain lane or goddess forbid failure to maintain the vehicle so you could avoid the wreck then you get more bike time or shoe leather time. If you do something deliberate but not enough to qualify as an assault with a deadly weapon then you’ll be “driving” a pair of Nikes around for a very long time.
If you hit your head on a tree, or on the pavement, or on a guardrail, etc. while being traumatized by a car from behind, a helmet certainly isn’t going to reduce your chances of avoiding injury. I’m pretty sure _not_ wearing a helmet didn’t save this cyclist from any such injury – he was fortunate in that he didn’t receive a head injury worth mentioning?
Commuting daily along the 55mph zone on the coast keeps me thinking it’s worth the long paid for expense of a helmet so my loved ones don’t have to deal with a boo-boo that would otherwise exist on my melon without one.
I’d think the ‘obligatory mention’ is supportive of your opinion.
My employer requires a drug test if there is an injury accident at the workplace. Perhaps this should become a requirement for all injury accidents in our state? Injury accident -> police notified -> accident report -> both drivers are sent to nearest precinct for drug test. If a driver decides not to drug test, they are assumed at fault.
The only trouble I’ve had on the Oregon Coast is when I stayed on 101 where the ODOT map told me to get off. You don’t want to ride through Hebo on 101 when you could go through Pacific City secondary roads. I’m surprised the map route sends you over the bridge at Coos Bay (narrow elevated sidewalk with wicked crosswinds) instead of around the entire bay, which was really nice anyway secondary road.
So try to improve the map. I’M AFRAID HWY 101 IS WHAT IT IS. Especially with the interests on the coast doing their level to keep the as road congested as possible for business considerations. They have been trying to redirect 101 around Lincoln City for decades and the locals will have none of it.
Ridden the west coast a number of times over the years.
aside from the increasing number of distracted drivers, aside from the rented motor-homes driven by inexperienced tourists, aside from numerous close calls by drivers passing on blind curves,
…The Hwy simply has not kept up with the maintenance, or the increased usage over the years.
And yes, I realize that the 2 last incidents happened on relatively safe areas of the hwy.
I want too know why the Vulnerable Roadway User HB 3314 hasn’t been used.
Proving careless?…sounds more like proving lazy prosecutors.
Isn’t that why we have jury’s?
ORS 811.135 (VRU) has been used in other cases but a jury trial isn’t any guarantee of conviction. (Can traffic citations like that even rise to the level of jury trials?)
This! I biked it in 2004, probably wouldn’t do it again now that I’m a family man, a shame given the great views. I found the truck drivers to be considerate and courteous, and RV drivers to be a menace.
I think you are right that there should be no rush to prosecute Ms. Peck immediately. That said, the real problem is that our legal system finds no fault with what is truly an assault with a deadly weapon. Involuntary or not, she needs to find more punishment for this moment of inattention (or whatever), because contrary of your assertion, she is not innocent. She piloted a vehicle that crushed another person.
If instead off a lapse at the wheel of a car, she’d been walking down the road with a legally held gun, and then managed to make an error that resulted in a gunshot wound, there would be greater consequences than a $260 fine. Instead, drivers feel no need to attend to their driving with full attention – in the end, if they screw up, it likely won’t hurt them, and that’s what they have insurance for.
I understand your comparison between Mrs. Peck’s incident and the hypothetical gunshot, and along with you I also disagree much with what punishments exist in the legal system. If the whole world followed my personal ideals for what people should and shouldn’t do, there would be no need for a legal system whatsoever, but that clearly isn’t the case, so who cares what I think “should” happen? I haven’t been chiming in with what I want to happen, or what I think is “right” and “wrong” about what happens or anything like that. My point all along has been that police procedure is supposed to follow set laws which enable and limit it. If we’re unhappy with the results of such incidents, we have to change laws, of course, or find a way to completely remove and the legal system and create something else or something along those lines.
I hadn’t assumed Mrs. Peck was found innocent at the time of the incident or that she indeed is, but I did and do assume the officials haven’t yet decided what she is guilty of and subsequently haven’t cited her. What many people seem to be forgetting is that she isn’t in the clear just because she didn’t receive a citation that day, so our complaints are premature, and our suggestions seemingly misplaced given that we (so far as I can tell in my limitations to know any of you) have no direct bearing on Mrs. Peck’s case.
“What many people seem to be forgetting is that she isn’t in the clear just because she didn’t receive a citation that day, so our complaints are premature…”
Except that we’ve been down this road before. wsbob will be along shortly to point out how little we know about what citations may have been issued to those drivers who ran over and killed people riding bikes in Oregon in recent months and years, but in a number of cases the fact that we haven’t heard anything suggests to me that our suspicions are probably not far off.
Bret Lewis on TV Highway (James Nguyen)
Hank Bersani on Hwy 99W (Marvin Ford)
Dave Apperson on Hopewell Rd. (John Taylor)
Steven Dayley on Hwy 18. (Fred Moore)
All had been riding bikes and all are now dead.
In none of these cases have we heard that any further citations were issued. I’d really like to know a good way to find out more about these cases. What if anything happened after the media spotlight moved on?
i have sometimes e-mailed the journalist who first wrote up the story to ask for follow-up, and i am zero for about eight or ten with that course. right now i have a records request in to the portland police bureau for the police report on the death at southwest 3rd and madison back in may, but as of a few days ago they are telling me the investigation is still ongoing. but i think in general the path has to be records requests. this could be done haphazardly, or it could be done systematically by someone who wants to track these things in a publicly visible way, and maybe organize the occasional rally outside some traffic court somewhere when the deal is going down. my previous experience with this kind of thing, back in the midwest, is that it requires some serious time and attention from at least one individual. and here and there a records processing fee.
Of course, how could I have forgotten to include Kathryn Rickson?
Maybe Jonathan can help with this? It seems strange that we’re left to speculate because it turns out to be this difficult to track whatever citations or other pertinent developments may have occurred in these cases.
And the message this less than transparent process sends to other drivers (or anyone else) certainly isn’t that more serious citations are likely to be handed down in the days and weeks to come….
So I’m not sure where Caleb and wsbob are getting this idea that our misgivings are premature or misguided, that justice is likely to be served in due course.
I didn’t state that justice was likely to be served in due course. That would seem to be you interpreting my words to say more than I intended them to. I try to refrain from speaking in such abstractions like “justice” unless they’re brought up by someone else first and I believe I can speak of the abstractions on their terms, and I try even harder to refrain from speaking in absolutes, which I consider terms like “likely” to be.
When it comes to the idea that complaints are premature, I base this on Mrs. Peck’s case’s circumstances, not past case’s circumstances. I was unaware of those deaths you listed, because I’ve not much followed such cases, but those cases have no direct impact on current cases, anyway, so we can’t use them to provide ourselves with irrefutable assessment of the current case. Further, if we’re going to judge current cases through the lens of past cases, we might as well be consistent and acknowledge Neal Lawson’s sentencing as being far more substantial than the $260 baseline people keep referencing in complaint. Looking at only the death cases you don’t know the result of is one way to assure yourself that your assumptions are true, but including other cases with different results leaves that assumption a little less sure, I would think.
“…those cases have no direct impact on current cases, anyway, so we can’t use them to provide ourselves with irrefutable assessment of the current case.”
No direct impact on current cases– And how is that? A bunch of different people on bikes get run over – paltry citations are issued if any are issued at all. On what basis would I–or you–expect this case to be treated in a markedly different fashion? Direct impact? maybe not, but why set the bar so high?
No one here said anything about irrefutable assessments.
We’re mostly hunting in the dark here anyway, so those standards seem rather high.
You’re right. I was the one who brought up irrefutable assessments. I did so, because you and others have consistently made claims about various likelihoods as if anybody posting here has any way of knowing. I’m merely trying to encourage a mindset that considers other possibilities, and I’m sorry if I’ve done so in a narrow-minded way.
As for setting the bar at direct impact, I do so to keep myself from making lofty assumptions about how a case will end. I don’t know all the factors that were involved in each past case that resulted in the paltry citations you mentioned, but I can easily imagine that many of those factors don’t exist now, and that any change in those factors could possibly lead to vastly different outcomes in this case. The only direct impacts, as far as I know, are physical.
But if we’re going to assume nothing has changed since the most recent case(s), then does not Lawson’s case prompt us to consider that more than paltry citations could be possible in Mrs. Peck’s case? It appears to me one of your primary complaints is that officials aren’t changing their thinking to make citations fit these incidents, so why do you not allow your own predictions to be based on more than just those cases in which paltry citations were issued?
“why do you not allow your own predictions to be based on more than just those cases in which paltry citations were issued?”
Hey 9watts: I think it is always going to be tough to find out what has happened with these cases after the media coverage trails off. It sounds like others have gotten nowhere with requests to the police/journalists. And I continue to think that the biggest opportunity for justice in these cases is a civil lawsuit. If a lawsuit is filed, the complaint and other official documents are available as public records, but if the cases settles out (almost all of them do), then we won’t know the outcome because settlement terms are almost always confidential. So the big developments will often be behind the scenes and under a cloak of confidentiality.
Thanks to you both for your insights. It all seems peculiar, both the ridiculously trivial initial citations (if any were issued), and then the dark hole into which everything disappears.
What kind of public process is this when someone has been killed or maimed? Is this normal? I’d have thought the threshold for public disclosure would be a little higher since we are led to believe that at least one of the reasons we have a justice system and a hierarchy of punishments is deterrence. If it is all but impossible to find out very much of anything about cases like this, how is (the public dimensions of) justice served?
I think if someone is killed/maimed, then there is a decent possibility that criminal charges will be brought. The typical first step is giving the evidence to a grand jury. If the grand jury determines there is sufficient evidence of a criminal violation, then there will be an indictment. So this can be very public, especially if the defendant contests it to a point where it is tried before a jury.
But even when a motorist causes a significant injury, their behavior can sometimes be characterized as a mistake, mildly careless, etc., such that it isn’t criminal behavior. An example that comes to mind is a parent distracted by screaming children in the back seat. I think most of us can agree that the parent isn’t a criminal. But — this mistake can result in a huge damages award to the victim. If the award exceeds the driver’s insurance limits, then the driver’s house and other assets can be put at risk. And the process will be public if it goes to a jury.
On another note, this thread makes me think about the hugely important concept of due process of law. The greater the penalty, the more process you need to ensure fairness. If we’re only talking about a $260 ticket, which a lot of us are obsessing about, then I’m fine with the officer immediately issuing such a ticket. Permanent revocation of driver’s license? That’s a big deal, and it shouldn’t happen unless there is clear evidence of bad behavior, with an opportunity for the motorist to explain all the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“…the fact that we haven’t heard anything suggests to me that our suspicions are probably not far off. …” 9watts
You don’t say what you’re suspicions are. You also don’t say what you’re expecting with regards to the four collisions you cited.
In another comment: http://bikeportland.org/2012/07/26/man-struck-while-bicycling-on-highway-101-south-of-bandon-75176#comment-3107322 …we have 9watts saying:
“…So I’m not sure where Caleb and wsbob are getting this idea that our misgivings are premature or misguided, that justice is likely to be served in due course.” 9watts
A greater certainty of justice…yes. A certainty that a citation and penalties imposed, which is what you and various other people seem to be expecting, regardless of whether investigation warrants it…no.
By the way, from reading news reports about it, I recall that the cause of the collision involving Hank Bersani on Hwy 99W (Marvin Ford) was determined to be due to Hank Bersani abruptly turning from the shoulder of the road into the path of Marvin Ford traveling in the main lane.
Also: ‘are’ in his comment here: http://bikeportland.org/2012/07/26/man-struck-while-bicycling-on-highway-101-south-of-bandon-75176#comment-3107297
“…i have a records request in to the portland police bureau for the police report on the death at southwest 3rd and madison back in may, but as of a few days ago they are telling me the investigation is still ongoing. …” are
I give him credit for making that effort. It’s a good start to gaining a better understanding of that type of collision and how to prevent them in future. Keeping persistent, non-antagonistic pressure on the city and the PD, letting them know you as a citizen and road user are in need of having information about these kinds of situations so you can can do your part in helping reduce them…helps motivate them to stay on task, do a good investigation and get the info out.
Diego Reyes, hit from behind and killed a year ago this week.
I’m sure there are more, those are only examples, search for “hit from behind” or various tags…
I very much like Maus’ coverage of diverse topics in BikePortland and I would not like to see it–and especially him–become focused only on road tragedies and their legal outcome. But it would be useful to know more about how cases are resolved, in general and specifically. Perhaps a wiki? with selected editors? normalized format? on BikePortland (sponsored?) or BTA or…?
(Somewhat related, the B-SMART tool is still there but hardly used since it’s not linked prominently. Perhaps it could be adapted as a data display for info collected by a selected group.)
If you want a blog that is focused on bike wrecks, read mine. I come to BP for the pretty pictures and the comments to help de-stress from my blog.
Hey Opus, thanks, I do read your blog but only sometimes…it can be stressful just to read! But, while wrecks can be fascinating and some lessons can be learned by considering each one’s dynamic story, that’s not what I’m really suggesting here. (Hey, wouldn’t want to compete or reinvent any wheels!) I’m suggesting a database (hence some normalization of fields) of Portland (possibly Oregon, outside hope of Vancouver & WA) of serious bicycle collisions, maybe only fatalities, including news stories, police PR, and followup on all litigative actions…citations, misdemeanors or criminal charges, and civil actions. I realize many civil cases will be sealed or otherwise settled with no comment, but at least that fact can be part of the record. I think such a set of records, and the information which could be drawn from them, would go a long ways to demonstrating systemic biases against bicyclists, as well as injustices in general of an auto-centric system.
If you think it’s stressful to read…it’s like 10 times worse to write. I think I have read more than 5000 wreck reports on more than 3000 bike wrecks (some get lots of links, some only get one). But if nobody does what I do then the reports just kind of vanish into the Internets. Hit-from-behind wrecks with the driver claiming blindness are one of the most aggravating kinds of reports I read, because it isn’t like cyclists are hard to see, say, compared to the stripes on the roads. But drivers are given a free pass for not seeing a cyclist like it was the most natural thing in the world.
“…But it would be useful to know more about how cases are resolved, in general and specifically. …” Alan 1.0
Getting that info requires someone that can do the legwork, has the access, and so on. Investigative journalists and private investigators, if the story or issue is big enough. The gears grind slowly, and sometimes they stop entirely. After awhile, most people forget anything even happened.
“I recall that the cause of the collision involving Hank Bersani on Hwy 99W (Marvin Ford) was determined to be due to Hank Bersani abruptly turning from the shoulder of the road into the path of Marvin Ford traveling in the main lane.”
Sure, and John Taylor who ran over and killed Dave Apperson said the sun was in his eyes. I’m so reassured when law enforcement so graciously accept these explanations from the drivers as adequate.
Who knows, perhaps Bethany Peck didn’t see Marcellus Tijdink either?
“…I’m so reassured when law enforcement so graciously accept these explanations from the drivers as adequate. …”
I believe bikeportland/maus, posted excerpts from an interview with one of OSP’s people, in which they said that to the Bersani/Ford collision, there were independent witnesses, interviewed as part of the investigation. What I recall reading, is that the witnesses were said to have claimed seeing Bersani pull abruptly in front of Ford.
There wasn’t a lot of info published about the investigation. Having all the notes from the interviews of witnesses could be helpful in understanding the collision. Also, the full police investigation report.
As I said at the time in comments here, if people driving automobiles slowed down and waited to pass folks on bikes until there was enough room to give them a wide berth this sort of carnage would be far less likely. Saying he swerved abruptly and leaving it at that–giving the driver of the car who ran over the bicyclist a pass–is just not acceptable. The reason we have laws in many jurisdictions about the proper/minimum distance to leave when overtaking someone on a bicycle is precisely because it is or can be dangerous to pass too closely, or closely enough so that if the person on the bike fell over (or veered abruptly) they would be crushed.
“As I said at the time in comments here, if people driving automobiles slowed down and waited to pass folks on bikes until there was enough room to give them a wide berth this sort of carnage would be far less likely. Saying he swerved abruptly and leaving it at that–giving the driver of the car who ran over the bicyclist a pass–is just not acceptable. …”
According to reports, there was a modest but fair amount of distance for motor vehicles to travel on the road and for bikes to travel on its shoulder at the same time, and for motor vehicles to pass bikes traveling on the shoulder while a motor vehicle held its position on the main lane.
Reports indicated, the problem was that Bersani on his bike, abruptly diverted from his path of travel along the road’s shoulder, into the path of Ford’s motor vehicle on the main lane of the road.
“there was a modest but fair amount of distance for motor vehicles to travel on the road and for bikes to travel on its shoulder at the same time, and for motor vehicles to pass bikes traveling on the shoulder while a motor vehicle held its position on the main lane.”
Nonsense. I know that stretch of road quite well. It is very wide and VERY straight. Furthermore, if the driver is unwilling to cross the center line to pass someone on a bike, that person-in-car should wait to pass. Although automobilists often think this, there is no rule that says:
thou shalt pass people riding bikes without breaking your stride even if oncoming traffic restricts the both of you to one lane’s width.
“Nonsense. I know that stretch of road quite well. …” 9watts
Apparently not. I suggest you two…9watts and ‘are’ go back into bikeportland’s archives for the stories maus wrote about this collision, and probably any other stories about it…I believe the Oregonian and the Statesman Journal covered it too. There were 2-3 published pictures of the road showing the shoulder.
In one of the stories, there was a theory or two offered as to why Bersani attempted to make the turn across the road he did, but of course, no way to confirm it, since the collision was fatal to him. That is though, what sparse reported comments from witnesses and the police implied he was thought to have been doing, rather than just wobbling or some such thing; it’s thought that he was turning directly across the lane of traffic… directly in front of Ford’s motor vehicle. One theory, was that he was crossing the road to resume travel on the separated MUP on the other side of the road.
I don’t recall reports that transcripts of the police investigation were released. That would be one possible source of more details about the collision, if someone were interested in pursuing them. If you’re not happy with the work of police and others on this collision, you two go ahead and conduct your own investigation.
And ‘are’…you can knock off the ‘Robert’ routine anytime. It’s not cute, any more than what seems…at least presently… to be your former routine of not capitalizing the first letter of your sentences.
I had forgotten the details of the Bersani incident, bob, and obviously the specifics of my little vignette do not apply. Apparently he was merging left to make a turn, not trying to avoid a hazard. However, I do not think Bersani’s maneuver was described as “abrupt.”
I am posting in standard written English only in response to your comments, bob, at your request. If you do not want these formalities to extend to the rendering of your name, you just say the word.
‘are’…you could have just cut and pasted the OSP statement from maus’s story that you provided the link to. Here’s that excerpt:
“… a northbound bicyclist moved from the shoulder into the northbound lane in front of the pickup. Ford veered left in an attempt to avoid the bicyclist but the right front of the pickup struck the bicycle from behind. The bicyclist… was ejected from his road bike and came to rest near the center of the highway.” OSP re; Bersani/Ford/Hwy 101 collision, from maus/bikeportland story
So you’re correct that, at least in the story you linked to, ‘abrupt’ wasn’t used. I’m just recalling stories about the collision from memory, so I can’t say for a fact that ‘abrupt’ was used to describe Bersani’s movements on the road. Other news stories on the collision may be lingering around in archives. If you’re really interested in pursuing deeper insight into this collision, you might seek them out. Check the comments too for those posted by people that knew Bersani and theorized the reason for what’s thought to be his actions on the road.
“…I am posting in standard written English only in response to your comments, bob, at your request. If you do not want these formalities to extend to the rendering of your name, you just say the word.” are
As you wish, though I think other people as well, would probably appreciate if you’d keep on following standard written English, including capitalizing first letters of sentences. It just makes what you have to say, easier to read. Nothing more than that.
Just ‘bob’ will do fine if you don’t want to copy/paste ‘wsbob’. And if you don’t mind, knock off the phony stuffiness.
could have cut and pasted, didn’t. you are all about precision in language around here, ws, and my point was the word “abrupt” was not used, except by you.
and just as you have no information from which to judge whether i choose to bike in “intense” traffic situations, or whether i know how to handle myself there, i am afraid you have insufficient context from which to judge whether my overly precise phrasing is affected. i recall with fondness the day an acquaintance said i was “the pedant’s pedant.”
“…and my point was the word “abrupt” was not used, except by you. …” are
Not much of a point, that’s for sure. I gave you the information I had, and explained from whence it came. If you were really serious about understanding traffic and collisions, you would have accepted the information gracefully, and moved on to find more about what truly may have been the causes of the Bersani/Ford collision.
I have a hard time believing even a small majority of auto users think there is such a rule as you have proposed, or even that many of them would think of it as beginning with “thou shalt” if they did believe such a rule existed. Don’t you think that’s perhaps getting a bit melodramatic?
The phrasing may be melodramatic, but the situation it is meant to describe is I think fairly well captured by that language. Large speed differentials and following or passing too closely have both I think contributed importantly to the severity of very nearly all of these collisions. Of course, several of the recent crashes involved drivers actually leaving their lane and running over cyclists on the shoulder, which is even harder to understand or exonerate.
The rhetorical purpose for which I invented that rule was to illustrate a mindset, widely shared it would seem, that these roads are mostly for cars and the speeds at which cars commonly travel them. The thought of slowing down, of perhaps even not passing someone slower–more vulnerable–until there is sufficient room to do so without risking what happened in the Bersani/Ford case apparently lies outside what both drivers and law enforcement consider reasonable that we have immediate and official findings such as
“…there’s nothing to indicate any fault on the part of the pickup operator.”
— Lt. Gregg Hastings, Oregon State Police
Slower and less well armored participants in traffic fare poorly in collisions such as these not just because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time, but because of the entitlement to the road that those in cars and those passing judgment on all-too-frequent-and-often-deadly collisions have or seem to have.
Language describing a situation accurately and melodramatically are mutually exclusive. It’s one or the other. But I know what you’re getting at. I come from a rural area in the midwest where one has to be ever vigilant on the roads given the slow tractors and animals and whatnot. Throughout life, I’ve been consistently frustrated by any closed-minded approach involved in reacting to what one comes across on the road. Yes, roads have been traditionally intended for certain purposes, but it’s not like we can keep conditions free of unintended purposes at all times, so we may as well have flexibility ingrained in our driving/riding if we want things to go peacefully. So I’m with you in wanting drivers to be more vigilant and careful as I want everybody to be, but I just don’t think using the melodramatic language helps that cause much. After all, how many cyclists on here appreciate the stereotype of cyclists on other sites such as OregonLive and such?
But further, I think we just have to be patient with drivers. It’s been decades they’ve gone without seeing many bikes on the road. It will take time for others to adopt that open mindset to what “belongs” on the road.
“I think we just have to be patient with drivers. It’s been decades they’ve gone without seeing many bikes on the road. It will take time for others to adopt that open mindset to what “belongs” on the road.”
Sociologically you are correct: drivers are insufficiently mindful/vigilant/habituated to diverse traffic participants. But legally and morally I’m not willing to be so generous or patient. We don’t really expect anyone to say we have a Wild West past; folks around here are just used to using guns in lots of situations. We need to be patient. Although there is also some truth there, we’re (ostensibly) a civilized, law abiding country and I think we can and must do better/hasten this process a bit.
i agree with 9watts here. if we want the social norms to change, however slowly and with the occasional misstep, we have to be vocal about which way we hope to see it headed.
I had misgivings about that last portion of my response, too. I wrote it in a hasty and distracted fashion. I apologize for not being thorough. I didn’t mean the calling for patience to be a reason for excusing drivers’ behavior, and I didn’t mean for mentioning the decades past as such, either. After all, I wouldn’t allow myself any preemptive forgiveness for a lack of changing my behavior to fit newly developed ideals. What I was getting at was more along the lines of what you said, are – that we should be diligent and persistent in encouraging more mindful use of the road on everyone’s part, but with language and other behavior that doesn’t possibly incite more negativity and further distract people (especially those already less apt to adopt different thought patterns) from simply being mindful. Of course, whether any language does so depends not only upon the sender’s intent, but also upon the receiver’s interpretation. Nevertheless, when words apparently harken back to biblical ignorant legality, I can’t help but wonder what the sender’s intent is, and thus how people that he tries to describe might feel and in response possibly grow more stubborn in their potentially harmful ways.
Oh, forgot to mention also that by calling for patience, I meant to encourage a mindful approach to citations and sentencing. Would any of us be more or less likely to allow ourselves to kill somebody if we were fined $2394823984 or sentenced to 897686 days in jail? I just don’t think such things are always required to make somebody more careful after they’ve been involved in an accident that hurt somebody else. Even careless people can be shocked out of their careless ways. So what I’m saying is, unless we know with certainty that officials are neglecting human safety in their citing and sentencing, perhaps we could try and trust their intentions a little more, or at least consider the possibility they’re actually trying to modify careless behavior? And unless we know with certainty that drivers are disregarding the life of cyclists, couldn’t we at least consider the possibility they aren’t as careless as we assume? If we think they act on biases, what assumptions about us cyclists do we think they act upon? How are our assumptions helping anything any more than theirs might?
Let us suppose for a moment that the cyclist swerved. And let us suppose that he swerved to avoid some obstacle that if he had hit it would have caused him some pretty serious problems. Just for a moment. Let us settle our imaginations on that scenario. It is not so very unlikely, after all.
So, how far did he swerve? Apparently we have witness observations, but I am not hearing how far. A couple or three feet? Eight or ten? Within the scenario we are imagining, a couple or three ought to do it. Enough to bring him into the path of the overtaking truck, obviously.
But here, Robert, is the point. How the f*ck close was the truck overtaking, that a swerve to avoid an obstacle gets the guy mowed down? Does a vigilant motorist, scanning for possible hazards, actually execute the pass so close that the cyclist has no room to avoid hazards? And if so, why? Why not, as has been suggested here, slow down and wait for a better opportunity to pass?
And yes, there are all kinds of other possible scenarios, but these would have to include a scenario in which the cyclist did not actually swerve much or at all, and that the witnesses were remembering something they didn’t quite see the way they said they did.
Does anyone know a good bike lawyer in Virginia. 2 years ago a friend on a bike was killed by a truck. The insurance company is stalling and trying to show the bike was at fault even though the cyclists was not at fault. The most recent efforts to stall are pointing to a witness that saw another similar cyclist riding risky earlier that day.
Seriously? Probability of what? And how do you know what that probability is? What calculations have you been doing?
The probability that the aforementioned drivers who ran over and killed (or maimed) people on bicycles in this state, recently, will *also* not be cited for the primary offense of killing someone on a public road, or otherwise experience the sanctions or punishments that we see fit to slap people with who do much less damage, like shop lifting or smoking weed or….
Lawson’s conviction is noteworthy, but his case is not, I don’t think, by any stretch a common outcome, or one I’d expect to occur in these other cases. I’m not saying it is not possible, just not probable.
I think Opus might be able to offer some perspective on this question (more than I can certainly).
Well in my case they would have had to actually look for the guy that killed me (I got better, obviously). So right off the bat we have a institutional difference in the way cyclist/motor vehicle crime is treated and the way that “more traditional” crimes are treated.
As for my blog, yes I have noticed that motor vehicle crimes are treated differently than crimes using other weapons, even when it is patently obvious the driver was trying to use the vehicle as a weapon to kill pedestrians or cyclists. I have become convinced that unless the driver posted a note on their door that he was going to go kill someone with his car a driver would never be prosecuted by some jurisdictions of LEO (NYPD are you reading this?). Some jurisdictions I think wouldn’t even prosecute with the note posted to the door except for the posting of the note.
I didn’t state that convictions like Lawson’s were common or something anybody should expect to see in other cases. What I was getting at is that if you’re going to claim certain outcomes “probable” based upon past circumstance, then you’re inconsistent if you aren’t also assuming his case is indicative of changes occurring in the direction you’ve been pushing for. That’s not to say I believe his case is indicative of anything, or that you should believe it is, but is instead simply to say you’re selectively deciding where to apply your logic and what to take into account.
So again, I’d ask what calculations you are doing to determine what is and isn’t probable. Are you taking every single factor influencing the outcome of each case into account for the probability of each case? Do you even know every single factor for each? If not, then you’re guessing. Anybody can choose to guess even the least probable outcome, and that outcome could possibly occur, so what use have we for putting faith in the most probable outcome when it’s still just a possibility?
We’re apparently talking past each other.
When I say ‘probability’ you hear ‘1.3 standard deviations’ and assume I have developed a spreadsheet, must be a professor statistics. But the word probability has a more common definition. This is one of Merriam Webster’s definitions: “the chance that a given event will occur.
I hadn’t assumed that at all. Though I would have welcomed the math, too, I primarily intended for my questions to be rhetorical commentary on the use of vague probability ideas. Using common or esoteric definitions and the math or lack of math behind either doesn’t change our limitations, and claiming one thing probable without also expressing our inability to know so is something I would consider any one or combination of naive, ignorant, egotistical, or manipulative.
You’ve expressed an apparent disdain for what you see as systemic bias in the legal system and auto-driving population, so why not hold yourself to what you consider a higher standard and keep your own biases in check? You call it “probability” but so far as I can tell based upon information you’ve shared, it’s nothing but “opinion”. I have no problem with opinions, though. I just prefer people refrain from (intentionally or not) expressing them as something defined as fact.
“You call it “probability” but so far as I can tell based upon information you’ve shared, it’s nothing but “opinion”.”
Of the recent local victims of automobility listed in my post earlier in this thread:
Bret Lewis on TV Highway (James Nguyen)
Hank Bersani on Hwy 99W (Marvin Ford)
Dave Apperson on Hopewell Rd. (John Taylor)
Steven Dayley on Hwy 18 (Fred Moore)
and we could add
Christeen Osborn on Hwy 101 (Wanda Cortese)
as far as we know none of these drivers was or has been cited for endangering* a vulnerable road user or of driving carelessly, much less recklessly. Now it is true that we don’t have all the facts and that some of them may have been cited for these or similar violations after the media spotlight moved on, but I don’t think it very likely [if you think it likely you should by all means share the reasons for your view]. This set of circumstances, however speculative my summary may strike you and wsbob, is the basis for my expectation that the probability that Bethany Peck (the driver in the case we were discussing here) will be cited is low.
Neal Lawson was eventually cited, and this is a data point, to be sure. And I hope very much that my low expectations are proven wrong.
*even endangering seems an inadequate category given that four of these five people were killed instantly.
Yes, you’ve stated multiple times that cases such as you’ve listed have prompted you to reach the conclusions of what you consider probable. This was not lost on me even the first time you stated it. What I’ve been repeatedly getting at myself, is that the outcome of those cases are not the only factors (if they even are factors) in determining the outcome of Mrs. Peck’s case, so we can’t use them alone (if at all) to determine what is or isn’t likely. The legal system is enforced by individual human beings, subject to change just as much as you and I. Do we even know how many of the same individuals from those past cases, if any, are involved in Mrs. Peck’s case? If any returning individuals are working on it, do we know if their interpretation of any laws has changed or not? Do we have any idea what influenced the enforcer’s decisions in the past cases? Do we have any idea what might be influencing them now?
Because likelihood depends upon complicated current circumstance, and I don’t have the ability to know determining current circumstance, I never said or thought any conviction, citation, or lack of either is likely. Some humans can accurately calculate the probability of how objects in controlled environments will move, but law enforcement figures have complex brains like the rest of us, and they exist outside controlled environments, so nobody has the ability required to accurately calculate what decisions they’ll make, even though anybody can make uninformed, correct guesses of how they’ll act. That said, do you know anything about current events in Peck’s case that allows you to actually determine the probability of various outcomes rather than just guess what they may be? If I were to state that Peck will be cited or convicted and sentenced without stating directly relevant factors leading to such a conclusion, wouldn’t you find my guess useless, too?
it probably depends who is listening, but i accept your gracious, um, disparagement.
did you? did you explain where you got the idea bersani changed course “abruptly”? i still have not heard it.
as you have done, no doubt. i have looked at the police news release
which says the motorist swerved, but does not say he hit the brakes,
and i have looked at the googlemap of the site
maybe a quarter mile from a signalized intersection, posted 55, but just coming out of a 45 zone
and what i see suggests to me that bersani may have moved into the travel lane to prepare to make a left onto the sidepath, and presumably thought he had time to make it. why he didn’t is something only ford can know. at the very least it would appear ford was not prepared for the possibility bersani might make this move. possibly he was going faster than the circumstances demanded, possibly he was not vigilant.
you have asked me to use initial caps, you have asked me to stop calling you “robert,” and you have asked me to adopt a less formal tone. one out of three ain’t bad. i am going to ask you to reconsider telling people they are not making much of a point, and suggesting they are not serious about understanding something or other.
“do you know anything about current events in Peck’s case that allows you to actually determine the probability of various outcomes rather than just guess what they may be? ”
I think where we differ is that you treat each of these cases as a discrete event, where you do not expect the outcome to be influenced by all the other prior similar incidents. I, by contrast, am making some assumptions about the systemic failures I see in relation to these collisions. I don’t think the particulars are all that relevant because I view the prevailing interpretations of law as shaped by a collective, tacit view of people in cars running over people on bikes as, if you will, collateral damage; something that is, basically unavoidable if regrettable, and certainly not usually the drivers’ fault.
How else to explain the common outcomes of the majority of these horrific crashes that end either in the death of the cyclist or their maiming, with extremely light or no penalties for the driver even though the cyclist committed no other offense than bicycling on a public road?
Yes, I think that is indeed where we differ, and that’s the point I’ve meant my questions to aim at. I do assume particulars are relevant, because even a collective bias such as you propose consists of what we could call recurring particulars. However, I don’t assume the particulars are widely varied…or that they aren’t. And I don’t assume the collective bias you propose doesn’t exist…or that it does. I instead merely try to be receptive to any facts that come along, and assumptions in any direction generally prevent that from happening with optimum proficiency. So I’m all for projecting possibilities…just not believing any one is more or less likely than others without direct evidence.
You imagine the biased, collective, general view against cyclists, but such possible views are held in the minds of individuals, so where’s the evidence? We have their choices, but not their conscious motives. Nevertheless, I acknowledge such a possibility as you’ve proposed, since law enforcers have their rigid routines and policies that could easily push them toward using mental generalities just to perform their daily duties. However, I also consider the possibility that their cases varying widely by people, places, evidence, laws, etc involved, could also encourage them to look at existence in a highly particular fashion. People like us banter on web sites about the minutiae of law and the pitfalls of a general approach to it, and somehow we think they can’t think critically enough to do the same when their jobs demand it on a daily basis? I’m just skeptical of that, same as I’m skeptical of my own projections.
Since their function is to remove ill behavior from society, I imagine enforcers might hold pragmatic, gracious views (particular or general) toward drivers. They interact much more closely than we do with the individuals involved in these accidents. They get impressions of those individuals that we just can’t get reading articles or peoples’ comments. Perhaps through these impressions they see no ill behavior, and thus no reason to interpret the vague laws as people like us might prefer they do. But I’m skeptical of all this, too, because I know nothing of any of the involved enforcers or the legal obligations policy demands of their interpretations. Similar to your projection, I have no evidence of the views that led to their seemingly lax interpretations.
You ask how else to explain? I find such a question ineffective, especially if we aren’t actually trying to answer it because we’ve already chosen to adopt an explanation. That we haven’t yet thought of other explanations or that we can’t think of other explanations doesn’t mean the explanation accurate to what took place is one we’ve thought of. Certainty demands more data, and I’d argue that maintaining the illusion of certainty without sufficient data provides us little benefit, if any.
Poor bastard was Dutch. He probably didn’t have any experience sharing the road with incompetent selfish drivers backed up by a dysfunctional legal system with the deck stacked against bicycle riders.