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Surprisingly civil car/bike collision in Oregon City caught on video

Posted by on September 16th, 2014 at 11:40 am

Still from YouTube.

Collisions between bike riders and car drivers are not uncommon. What is uncommon however, is the level of civility displayed by reader Ben Koker after he was thrown to the ground following a slow-speed collision with a man driving a Lexus SUV earlier this month.

Thankfully, Koker was not seriously hurt. And he also happened to capture the entire incident on video thanks to his helmet-mounted camera.

The collision happened in the intersection of Main Street and 10th in downtown Oregon City. Koker was heading southbound on Main toward the four-way stop at 10th. After stopping and thinking it was safe to go, Koker was hit by the SUV driver from his right. The driver failed to stop at the stop sign.

Here’s the video:

As you can hear in the video, after hitting Koker, the driver gets out of the car and says, “Sorry about that.” To which Koker replies, “That’s all right.”

Once they move to a nearby parking lot to exchange information, the driver — a 17-year-old — tells a cop who had just pulled up, “It was my fault. I accidentally ran the stop sign.”

Not surprisingly, the young driver’s insurance took full liability and Koker was reimbursed for his damaged wheel and a doctor visit.

Our takeaway from this incident? Beyond the surprising civility and level-headedness displayed by both parties (understandable expletives whispered by Koker under his breath notwithstanding), it’s another big endorsement of helmet cams. Koker not only recommends them, but now he’s thinking of getting a rear-view cam and a dash-cam for his car. “When the kid’s insurance agent called,” he wrote in a YouTube comment, “she actually referenced the kid’s comment at the end about fault. Hard to argue with that:)”

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Joseph Edge
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Joseph Edge

The “problem” (for the insurance co) in this case is that the auto driver was “a kid.” A more experienced driver likely would know to not admit fault (on some of my previous auto insurance cards this was the first instruction for how to handle being involved in a collision; on my Farmer’s Ins. card it’s #5 and more softly phrased: ‘Be careful what you say – an investigation may later show you were not responsible for the accident’). A seasoned driver likely wouldn’t so readily admit fault and I’d be curious to see how the helmet cam footage would influence proceedings in a situation like that, where the driver is tight-lipped and not willing to claim responsibility.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Today’s youth: a buncha rude hellions tha lot o` dem!
/s

KristenT
Guest
KristenT

I don’t know about that– I’m a seasoned driver, and if I did something that was my fault I would cop to it. Because if it’s my fault, then it’s my fault and the right thing to do is own up to it and face the consequences.

For instance: About 8 or so years ago, I rear-ended a guy who started to go on a green right turn and then stopped. I don’t know why he stopped, but I hit him– my Forester folded up the back of his Honda. I was going maybe 10mph, as the light turned green while I was still a ways back from the intersection. No pedestrians, he just wasn’t looking at the light but the oncoming traffic from the left and started to go then stopped because he saw oncoming (that was also stopping).

I hit him, it was my fault his car was crunched, and I admitted it. I suppose I could have not admitted it and tried to pin it on him, as he did stop on a green, but if I had been watching closer and not in such a hurry I would not have hit him.

Bottom line, if you mess up and cause a crash, you should also do the right thing and accept the responsibility. That kid did the right thing, he was in the wrong and admitted it. Hopefully he’s learned to pay more attention while driving, and isn’t that what we want everyone to do?

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

This, a thousand times this. If it’s just a fender bender and no one was seriously hurt, just be a human being about it, for Pete’s sake.

dr2chase
Guest
dr2chase

Add to that, if it’s obvious that you’ve made a mistake, getting all legally cute is only going to make things more adversarial and expensive.

And stopping-on-a-green? Happens all-the-time around here (Boston area) — there’s all manner of nonsense going on in and around an urban intersection, certainly including jaywalking pedestrians, sometimes including turkeys, geese, or a car wooshing through the red. And from time-to-time, a new driver with a stick shift stalls or misses a shift. Stuff happens.

John Lascurettes
Guest

True that. A green light is just an indicator of right of way (generally speaking) and never means that all ahead should be considered automatically clear and safe.

Bill Walters
Guest
Bill Walters

A truly seasoned driver (admittedly rare) stops at stop signs.

gutterbunnybikes
Guest
gutterbunnybikes

Having been a driving professional for over a decade, the first thing they teach you is to never admit fault. even if it clearly is….

Christopher Sanderson
Guest

That hit looked painful. Props to that kid for being honest, and accepting responsibility for his actions.

Justin Gast
Guest
Justin Gast

I imagine the kid was not gifted with a traffic citation?

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Not sure how this plays out in Oregon, but be aware that the law in many states flies in the face of common sense and reason. Most of us think of a 4-way stop as a place where we each take turns based on when we get to the intersection, but IIRC the law actually says the vehicle on the right always has the right of way. I know someone who got T-boned in Washington, but still got a ticket because the other vehicle was on the right.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

I don’t understand how that could be the rule anywhere. Whoever gets there first should start moving into the intersection first. Are you saying it is legal for the person on the right to then run the stop sign and dart in front of you?

KristenT
Guest
KristenT

The Oregon Drivers Manual (at http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/pages/form/audio_manual.aspx) says, on page 44, the following:

“At any intersection with stop signs in all four directions, it is common courtesy to allow the driver who stops first to go first. If in doubt, yield to the driver on your right.”

So they have it both ways– although if you read the ORS, 811.260(15), it doesn’t exactly say you have to yield to the vehicle to the right.

John Lascurettes
Guest

I specifically remember in a traffic class in California (and it would apply to Oregon too the way it is written): If four cars came to a stop at about the same time at a four way stop who has right of way? Everyone is to the right of someone else and you can’t determine definitively who got there first.

A: the one who moves first.

gumby
Guest
gumby

I’ve seen this before on bike portland. Although it’s common courtesy to take turns, Oregon law says that the first person to enter the intersection has the right of way no matter who got there first.

John Lascurettes
Guest

As Spiffy pointed out elsewhere, there is no actual “on the right” preference in Oregon. It simply states that you must stop. Then you must give right of way to anyone else already traversing the intersection.

I like it. It’s actually simpler. And as long as people come to a stop first, it’s clean. As long as they come to a stop first – that’s the rub.

Paul Atkinson
Guest
Paul Atkinson

The law in Washington is that the first to the intersection has the right of way, but in the case of a tie you must yield to the driver on your right.

KristenT
Guest
KristenT

You are correct, but the law also says that everyone needs to stop at stop signs, and the kid didn’t stop.

Also, what about the red car that was stopped in the intersection that the bike was going around? And what about the car that had stopped next to the bike? Where did it go, and did the kid let that car clear the intersection before cruising through?

John Hart
Guest
John Hart

There are 3 people at fault for this collision: the driver of the red car, for entering the intersection without having a clear path to complete the left turn; the young driver who admitted that he failed to stop at a stop sign; and the bicyclist, for entering the intersection when HE did not have a clear view and path to get across. Moving left to go behind the red car was a mistake, and he should have anticipated that a driver coming from his right would not be able to see him as he went around the back of the stopped red car. That’s dangerous, and he brought it upon himself.

This collision illustrates a reason – apart from greed and reluctance to pay claims – that insurance companies tell their clients NOT to admit fault at the scene of an accident.

Speaking as a cyclist who rides 5,000 miles or more annually AND as a driver, I believe the cyclist is at least 50% at fault here. He made himself invisible to the driver of the Lexus, who might have hit him even after coming to a full and complete stop. I’m glad that the cyclist wasn’t hurt, and I hope that all 3 involved parties learn from this incident and improve their driving/riding. To repeat, I’m glad that the cyclist was not seriously hurt.

dr2chase
Guest
dr2chase

There’s no way he was invisible. He’s on an upright bike, that makes him taller than a pedestrian — and the SUV would be expected to stop for any pedestrian entering the crosswalk at that intersection alongside the bicycle, and there’s a line of cars (what’s stopping the red car). Any pedestrian would also not be in the sharrows position.

At 0:16 within the intersection, his camera can see the sidewalk across the street over the tallest part of the car, so he is certainly visible from the driver’s seat of an SUV. He never crosses the centerline, and you can also see as he begins motion and crosses his own stop line at 0:14 that there is no car at the stop line to the right, either stopped or in motion, so the entry was legal.

As near as I can tell the cyclist is not breaking a single traffic law, so I have a hard time assigning any fault to him. Since the bicyclist is visible over the red car I don’t see how you can get the red car for also being at fault — he did enter the intersection before he had a clear path out of it, but if that didn’t contribute, then it’s irrelevant.

The SUV appears at 0:17 part way into the crosswalk after the bicycle is well into the intersection, and continues into him at the very first 0:18 frame I can see.

KristenT
Guest
KristenT

Besides that, later in the video you can clearly see the cyclist’s arms, which are incredibly bright high-vis yellow. So it’s inconceivable that he was not seen, unless the other drivers were not actually looking– i.e. looking down at a cell phone, the radio, lunch sitting on the passenger seat, Very Important Papers, or putting on makeup.

Tim E.
Guest
Tim E.

You’re right, he wasn’t invisible. He was clearly a floating head behind a bright red car, which of course is an insanely easy thing to see behind the bright red car, in an intersection where there’s all kinds of stuff going on. The point that the cyclist shouldn’t have gone around the red car is very much valid.

davemess
Guest
davemess

50%? No way.
Regardless of visibility, the kid blew the stop sign (he has to stop there if there is NO ONE in the intersection). Doesn’t matter what else is going on in the intersection.

Dave Thomson
Guest
Dave Thomson

The person on the right having the right of way only comes into play when two people arrive at the same time. Otherwise the first to arrive always has the right of way.

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

It is my understanding that if two vehicles are both stopped at a 4 way stop the vehicle on the right has ROW, regardless of who arrived first.

ie You arrive at stop sign, but wait for pedestrian to cross. Car arrives to your right, and waits for traffic in intersection to clear (say turning left).

Your pedestrian clears, traffic clears. Car on your right has ROW.

This to me is frustrating, and I could be completely wrong, but I think that’s how it works.

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

EDIT: As per user DIO, it would appear that in Washington it’s simpler.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Despite the ambiguous wording in the Drivers Manual, in a strict sense the user who arrived “first” does appear to have the ROW (in both OR and WA), and the vehicle-on-the-right rule only comes into play if they arrive at the “same time”.

But notice my use of quotes: I think the definition is still ambiguous. I’ve always taken “arrive first” to mean “comes to a stop first” — but others may not agree, especially if one vehicle comes up to the stop sign much faster than others, appearing at first to be coming in later than others but ultimately stopping sooner. And even if the rule is “came to a stop first,” what does that even mean in a world where few vehicles come to a complete stop unless they absolutely have to?

Bottom line: I’m always extra careful when another vehicle comes in from the right about the same time that I do.

dr2chase
Guest
dr2chase

This is making me feel better about rotaries….

Jason Brune
Guest
Jason Brune

I thought the Yugo had to ROW?

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

This will be a great video for training traffic engineers/ planners on the design of roadways with SLMs and how some cyclists operate on them.

The roadway has SLMs (sharrows) along side parallel car parking stalls to guide cyclists to take the middle of the lane versus riding in the more traditional (under-utilized) parking lane…the cyclist in this video chose to not take the lane and allow motorist(s) to pass him. Riding in the middle of the lane typically makes a cyclist more visible to intersection traffic.

[This last point does not effect the traffic collision in the video, since the driver ran the stop sign…and admitted so.]

Perhaps the AM peak volume on this street makes sharing the lane difficult?

There was also the opposing driver (red truck?) who looks to have entered the intersection without an open way out so as to not ‘block the box’…did they get a ticket too?

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

my typo…red car and not truck.

Editz
Guest
Editz

Not sure I would have attempted that cross with the idiot in the red Cavalier hanging out in the middle of the intersection. Doesn’t excuse the kid’s lack of stopping.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

This cascade of operator errors couldn’t have been better if it had been choreographed. Rider (not placing blame) could have been in the sharrow position, rather than FRAP; this would have avoided getting trapped by the Ford Focus on his left, and made him more visible to cross traffic. Red Chevy driver failed to wait for a clear exit before entering the intersection, thereby blocking the rider’s FRAPpy path across the intersection. As he starts to weave left around the red Chevy (into the desired path of the black Focus that started out on his left? Or did the Focus driver turn left?), the rider is now less visible to the Lexus driver. The Lexus driver, either due to lack of attention or false and naive sense of “protection” due to blockage of the intersection by the red Chevy—or both—runs the STOP and crashes into the rider.

I’m glad everyone was civil, and I’m sure everything was perfectly unintentional, but this was a failure on just about every level from one party or another. I was just thinking yesterday that the “Three Pillars” of safe operation on roadways are probably Knowledge, Attention, and Patience (for general “road safety”, I’d add a fourth pillar of “Design”); at least two, if not all three of those pillars collapsed here.

Again, to be perfectly clear, I’m glad everyone is OK, and the driver is obviously at fault, even without his convenient confession.

Also, so as not to appear hypocritical, I must confess my camera probably captures a situation that is similar to this at least once a week, and I sometimes tell myself that I should have handled it differently, even when nothing detrimental happens. My own “Patience” pillar often collapses, leading to over-reliance on “Attention”, which is never perfect.

Nicholas Skaggs
Guest
Nicholas Skaggs

What does FRAP stand for?

Also, take the lane at intersections, people. Please! It’s decidedly safer than being sandwiched between the curb and cars.

(Like the intersection of SE Division and 21st Ave. Watching cyclists in the morning weaving in and out of cars’ way from the right edge of the lane was nightmarish.)

tacoma
Guest
tacoma

Far Right As Possible?

John Lascurettes
Guest

Far Right as Practicable (per the wording ORS – it’s a subtle but distinct difference).

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

That one got me thinkin’ too ?!

So I looked it up and could not find anything…other than some french acronyms…or coffee lingo…

“Origin of FRAP: Middle English, to strike, beat, from Anglo-French fraper
First Known Use: 1548” or the more modern use of to draw tight..

Pete
Guest
Pete

I’m a firm believer of that for two reasons; not only to minimize sandwich situations but the more cyclists do it the more drivers become accustomed to bicyclists doing it. Idealistic, I know.

Also, kudos for the interaction – I know I wouldn’t have handled it nearly as well. One thought I had (easy being outside of the situation!) is to intentionally get the license plate on camera as soon as possible (especially if dark… try to get lit/legible video). For legal purposes you ideally want a video clip showing car with identifiers (make/model/color/bumper stickers/dash ornaments), license plate, and clear video of the driver in immediate proximity of if not behind the wheel. That last part’s probably more prevalent as bicyclists tend to try to make eye contact with drivers so that’s often the initial POV.

dr2chase
Guest
dr2chase

Idealistic where/when I ride, that’s for sure. Bikes pass cars, and there’s no way to take the lane when you get to the light because a car is already there (and as yet there is no ASL). At one busy intersection last week, I noticed that in the time it took 3 cars to clear the intersection from the light turning green, 6 bikes made it across. (In Boston, this is considered setting a good example — “if you were on a bike, you would not be stuck in this traffic”.)

Pete
Guest
Pete

“if you were on a bike, you would not be stuck in this traffic”

Ah, the progressive update to that memorable Storrow Drive sign (“if you lived here you’d be home now”). My hat’s off to you – people who cycle in my former city possess a respectable dose of gumption! (And these Portlanders think they have it tough… 😉

was carless
Guest
was carless

Yep. As a cyclist, gotta watch those corners! Left and right. And when proceeding around obstructions – particularly of your sight lines – go super slow.

DIO
Guest
DIO

According to the Washington State Driver Guide, page 3-22:

••
At a four-way stop the driver reaching the intersection first, goes first (after coming to a complete stop). If more than one vehicle arrives at the same time, the vehicle on the right goes first.
••

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

correct…though the unwritten and often followed subsection…”unless said vehicle is a non-motorized vehicle…then the motorized vehicle proceeds first and keeps right of way and the non-motorized vehicle shall wait.”

Pete
Guest
Pete

I know you’re being facetious, but I have a theory that there’s kind of a root cause for this. Most cyclists I know (including myself) tend to stop a bit before the stop sign, whereas almost always I see cars stop at least on the stop line (more often over), which is logical if you think of the difference in physics and geometry (i.e. wheelbase) between the two. If you ride and also drive I think you develop an innate understanding (and visual recognition) of this, but I can see where many people develop the perception that the bicyclist ‘stopping’ before the stop sign isn’t actually stopping (that scofflaw!) – especially if they’re under the belief that a stop requires a foot down.

Anne Hawley
Guest
Anne Hawley

I actually find the opposite. Motorists tend to yield the ROW to me on my bike at four-ways, which is…excessively polite, I guess, but throws me off, since I’ve approached the intersection already noting who was there first and when my turn will come (the same as I would in a car).

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

no such law in Oregon… wish there were…

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

I say this every chance I get: “the driver’s manual is not the law”. D’s MV often, it seems, try to “clarify” the actual law by providing helpful suggestions that might make things run more smoothly on the road, but are nevertheless not The Law. In this case, do the instructions in Washington’s Driver’s Manual match what it says in the RCW?

Misha
Guest
Misha

I’ve waved a ton of cars through intersections because it’s legally their turn, not mine. I’m consistently surprised at the pissy responses I get, but I’m also prepared for them. Also, it seems that pedestrians in the crosswalk are so used to being ignored that it gets awkward when I stop for them, as I legally should (and then tons of other riders blow past me, making it really unsafe for the pedestrians).Again, awkward.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

I constantly wave cars through intersections where I have a stop sign and they don’t but they decide to impede traffic and stop for some reason…

and yes, I’ve caused a lot of confusion by legally stopping for pedestrians only to have the rest of the vehicles continue to stream past me… sometimes I dismount and walk into the intersection to stop the traffic myself because the pedestrians are too timid…

Evan Elken
Guest
Evan Elken

Although the accident was technically the drivers fault I think it is clear from the video that the cyclist should have been more careful. I speak from vast experience as a cyclist. You have to look out for yourself. That means doing more that just taking the right of way when it is your turn. In the video the cyclist is impatient at the stop sign and doesn’t wait for a car to clear out of the intersection. This car serves to obstruct his view and the view of the driver that hit him. The video reinforces the importance for cyclists to anticipate the expected and unexpected movements of vehicles. Do yourself a favor and take an extra second and an extra look at intersections.

Another note: I believe the cyclist lined up at the stop sign next to another car. He then moved into the intersection before that car. This inherently makes the situation more confusing for other drivers at the intersection. Then add to it the car that gets ‘gridlocked’ and obstructs the view and you have a recipe for an accident. My advice: Take the lane whenever possible at stop signs and take your turn like car. And be patient. I’m certainly not perfect when it comes to this and always have to remind myself. As a cyclists we stand to gain very little from colliding with cars.

gumby
Guest
gumby

I’ve been looking into dash cams. They are much cheaper than helmet cams and record in a continuous loop so that you don’t need to erase memory cards. They also automatically start and stop when power is turned on. They can also be set to permanently store clips when a crash is detected. The downside is that they are designed to be used inside a car so they would need a housing and a 12 volt battery.

J-R
Guest
J-R

The collision was witnessed by many drivers, but none apparently came forward. Isn’t that required?

If I were the cyclist, I would not have said I was ok. I fear that will be used by the motorist’s insurance company to try to avoid paying. I can understand why the cyclist said it though.

dr2chase
Guest
dr2chase

Suppose the car had managed to pull forward out of the intersection but was then forced to stop by traffic (i.e., got about 1/2 a car-length further). The SUV’s vision of the cyclist for the relevant seconds is just as obstructed (draw yourself a little diagram, as the SUV approaches the car is in between till the last moment). How does it end any differently?

Or suppose instead that the car is a large SUV, and is able to pull forward far enough to leave a half-car-length gap clear behind it from the intersection. The cyclist has an unobstructed view of about a car-length back from the other stop line, sees nothing there, and goes just the same (and he was not going terribly fast). However, the view of the not-going-to-stop SUV is totally obstructed and vice-versa.

The red car has practically nothing to do with it. The non-stop SUV has practically everything to do with it. We ride in traffic all the time, our vision is partially obstructed all the time, the whole reason for a stop sign is so that you *stop* and look around at a busy intersection.

Why this constant desire to blame cyclists for failing to imagine all the ways the people around them could break the law dangerously? And yes, imagining all those things does help your safety a little bit, but it also gives you a stupendously bad attitude. It’s a sign that we’re still in a 1%-cycling world, if that is a recommended safety skill for cyclists.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

“Why this constant desire to blame cyclists for failing to imagine all the ways the people around them could break the law dangerously?”

I hope no one is “blaming” the cyclist for such an imagined failure. I do agree the ability to imagine stupendously egregious acts of ignorance, inattention, or aggression by drivers is a useful survival skill that helps cyclists more than drivers because drivers have a safety cage to protect them from most of the dangerous behavior of others, while cyclists do not.

But really, there are only a few law-breaking behaviors that cyclists really need to be able to imagine, and those can be lumped into the general category of “failure to yield”. Whether it is a turn across a bike lane, an inattentive pull-out from a driveway or side street, failure to obey a traffic control device, improper lane change—whatever the specific case may be—cyclists really only need to be aware of potential encroachments into their space by motor vehicles.

In this case, the Black Ford “encroached” into the cyclist’s space because the cyclist gave it up to the Ford driver, the Red Chevy encroached into what was effectively the cyclist’s future space by blocking the intersection, and the Lexus driver encroached into the cyclist’s present space by running a STOP sign. These encroachments were progressively more egregious and less predictable, and their cumulative effect was as shown in the video.

I have to stop saying “encroach”, because it is starting to sound like a nonsense word…

Paul
Guest
Paul

An informative video to be sure.
I don’t understand the comments regarding whose “turn” it was to pass through the intersection. The driver admitted to the police officer that he “ran” the stop sign, which implies he never stopped, rather than proceeded out of turn. The video doesn’t show whether the car failed to stop, since the cyclist’s view was obstructed by the red car blocking the intersection.
The cyclist chose to “swerve” around the red car because there was room for him to do so, while the black car next to him waited for the intersection to clear.
Once the SUV driver was stopped, and out of his car, it would have been advisable for the cyclist to approach the black car’s driver and obtain their name as a witness.It appeared that they had also exited their car.
Because the cyclist chose to ride “around” the obstructing red car, I think a certain percentage of responsibility lies with the cyclist.

ChristopherR
Guest
ChristopherR

Lines, signs and signals will not keep you safe. They help, but boil it down and the cyclists eyes an ears are the most effective tools in preventing accidents. I guarantee that crossing Powell blvd relying on my eyes and ears is VASTLY safer than some white pavement markings and flashing yellow lights. Until this city dedicates a few dozen streets as “bike only”, AND the city admits the horrific traffic here is unmanaged at best…we will see fellow cyclists take a beating.
Kudos on the professional interactions of both parties. Hopefully some day all us cyclists will have the opportunity to commute to work without ever coming near a moving car. At our current level and city planners mindset…this will only happen when oil supplies are compromised and driving is too expensive.
Every bike I own is now an investment gaining value at the same rate as oil prices and demand rise.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Too bad the cop is dressed for combat. Sends an unfortunate message I feel.

Paul
Guest
Paul

I agree. This seems to be the image that local sheriff’s departments have chosen to project.

Allan Folz
Guest
Allan Folz

I’m reminded of the Heinlein’s quote that “an armed society is a polite society.”

Interesting how dashcams, helmet cams, and police body cams are becoming the modern equivalent of the Wild West’s Colt.

travis
Guest
travis

Next the guy gets sued by parents for video taping a minor and putting it on youtube.

Props to the kid for being honest. I would have given him the chance to fix the bike on his own dime, not involving insurance.

I agree with the comments that the biker has some level of fault here. To his right is the first place he should be looking when crossing the intersection, ESPECIALLY since the red car is blocking the view of him. He never even looks to see if there is another car coming from that direction. Yeah he’s wearing a bright yellow jacket of authority but the red car is blocking the intersection. The SUV driver sees this and is not expecting anybody to come from his left. The biker should not cross into the oncoming lane in order to cross the intersection.

I never admit guilt in accidents or ticket situations. I log 4000 miles a year on my bike, and have bike commuted off an on. Defensive driving is even more important when on a bike. People aren’t expecting you and you’re difficult to see. Need to do what you can to help drivers avoid situations like this.