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Update on SE Powell collision: Driver has 2 careless driving convictions and Mayor mentions protest

Posted by on May 11th, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Screenshot-2015-05-10-at-11.15.12-AM-540x268

On the mayor’s radar.

A few updates to our top story:

The man who was driving the truck that collided with Alistair Corkett on Sunday has two prior convictions for Careless Driving. According to our legal sources, 42-year-old Barry Allen was charged with Careless Driving in November 2013 and Careless Driving and Unsafe Operation of a Vehicle in May 2009. Allen was convicted on both charges after failing to appear. He has two other prior run-ins with the law, including convictions in 1998 for driving without insurance and failure to renew his automobile registration.

Allen has not been cited for a traffic violation. As per standard procedure, the Portland Police Bureau will complete their investigation than hand the case over to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office. After the DA makes a decision about criminal charges, the police would then decide whether or not to issue a citation.

Oregon law says that the threshold for a careless driving charge is reached if someone drives in a, “manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property.” If Allen is found to have violated that law, his actions could also trigger Oregon’s Vulnerable Roadway User law. That law would require Allen to complete a traffic safety course and do community service or pay a fine of $12,500 and have his license suspended for one year.

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Portland Mayor Charlie Hales has wasted no time in using the collision on Powell to lobby for more transportation funding. Hales joined 44 other Oregon mayors in writing a letter (PDF) to lawmakers in Salem today urging them to pass transportation funding legislation.

In a statement announcing the letter, Hales mentioned Sunday’s collision and a protest that slated to take place today at 4:00 pm:

“This weekend, a bicyclist was hit by a pickup truck and critically injured at Southeast 26th Avenue and Powell Boulevard. Powell is a state-owned highway. A rally to encourage ODOT to improve safety conditions is set for 4 to 6 p.m. today, at the intersection.”

Hales and Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick are also reportedly lobbying ODOT to take over management of some state highways like Powell.

We’ll keep you posted.

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Chris Anderson
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He shares a more personal reaction on his Instagram account here https://instagram.com/p/2ji_bhMej_/

Todd Hudson
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Todd Hudson

“Allen was convicted on both charges after failing to appear. He has two other prior run-ins with the law, including convictions in 1998 for driving without insurance and failure to renew his automobile registration.”

I’m guessing that Barry Allen wasn’t insured this time either. He’ll now spend the rest of his life paying a very hefty legal settlement.

Bjorn
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Bjorn

You only have about 10 years to collect a judgement in Oregon, more likely it is just going to be impossible for the victim to recover even medical costs in this case let alone any compensation for his injuries.

dave
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dave

Settlements can run for much longer than 10 years, and most civil cases end in settlement rather than adjudication.

9watts
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9watts

Cars… what a bad idea.

mran1984
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mran1984

Required for mountain biking in these strange parts…

9watts
Guest
9watts

Really? Maybe you need to relax your definition of mountain biking a little. Back in 1984 we just biked everywhere with our mountain bikes, and had a blast. Hopping curbs and riding through ditches was as exhilarating as climbing Mary’s Peak or biking to the Coast.

dave
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dave

Yes, really.

9watts
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9watts

A bicycle so specialized it requires an automobile to use it…. Sure, blame the city’s weird no-MTBs policy, but the larger issue you’re not seeing is the dependency-thinking your stance evidences.

What if I like time trial bikes – can I demand and expect the City to build me a special track on which to use it? Or maybe I’m into snowmobiles. Where’s my snowmobile park?! Once upon a time a mountain bike was something you rode – anywhere. Its charm was in large part its immunity from any need for special surfaces. I’ve been in love with mountain bikes since I was a kid in the early eighties, have ridden one pretty much daily for the past thirty years – on gravel roads in the woods, as a racer, on college campuses, commuting, and now mostly hauling stuff pulling a trailer. But I find myself having a hard time relating to this extortionist language: since I can’t have my mountain bike park here in town you’re forcing me to drive somewhere else to do my thing.

dave
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dave

I see, so we’ve moved on from car shaming to hobby shaming. Neat.

Scott H
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Scott H

Please spare us the car shaming.

Jim F
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Jim F

That is riding on a mountain bike, not mountain biking. You can swat flies all day with a tennis racket, but that does not mean you are playing tennis. Unless, I guess, you relax your definition of playing tennis.

mran1984
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mran1984

Two things: 1- I had an amazing time throughout 1984. I drove my car to school, trumpet lessons, gigs, rehearsals, the beach, countless ski trips and more interactions with girls my age that were ACTUALLY FACE TO FACE than many could possibly imagine today.2- I do not believe that you have any idea of what “we” do after the car is parked and the wheels are on the trail. Btw, that is okay with me. I have always preferred to keep it to myself. “Active Transportation” does not quite make it to the trailhead, so I still love my car. Relax… I actually saw Frankie Goes To Hollywood live. I drove to the concert.

9watts
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9watts

I was only objecting to your use of the word ‘required.’

mran1984
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mran1984

Well, riding on gravel roads is not mountain biking. The car is required in our pewter level city. It is my primary reason for owning and maintaining a vehicle. Sometimes I wonder if people have a good time anymore.

9watts
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9watts

“Well, riding on gravel roads is not mountain biking.”

Oh, O.K.

Kevin Rhea
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Kevin Rhea

Cars…not a bad idea…if operated with an awareness for one’s surroundings, without a cell phone in hand, with a valid driver’s license and current/up to date insurance policy and with the understanding your vehicle is a multi-thousand pound moving object sharing the roads, crosswalks, sidewalks and bike lanes with 100s if not 1000s of people just like “you”, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles and just plain “folks” who want to get back home safely. Cars don’t kill or maim people on their own, they actually need a driver. Instead of the car “hate” how ’bout some disgust/hatred for drivers like Allen who seem to be habitual bad drivers.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“Cars…not a bad idea…if operated with an awareness for one’s surroundings”

I hear you, but those are tall orders, especially these days. Of course thousands of people manage to get home every day without maiming or killing someone with their car – no question. But that doesn’t help us come to grips with the fact that plenty of people do die every day due to the overwhelming presence of cars, and the normalizing of automobility that goes on under our noses at all levels. Reading this blog for the past I don’t know how many years has changed how I think about the threshold of attentiveness required to pilot cars without endangering others. I maintain that the requirements of driving are so high that many of us can’t muster the necessary focus 100% of the time. Mostly we’re just lucky, but that is no basis on which to stake one’s chances of getting home unscathed.

“Instead of the car ‘hate’ how ’bout some disgust/hatred for drivers like Allen who seem to be habitual bad drivers.”

Sure. Though saying that cars were a bad idea is pretty far from ‘car hate’ in my view. I see it as a statement of fact.
http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/road_safety_status/2013/en/

mh
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mh

Oh, cars are a fine idea, if we required the equivalent of commercial air pilots’ testing and certification to operate them. Retesting required every couple of years, too, of course.

Opus the Poet
Guest

If they just required the equivalent of a Sport Pilot certificate drivers would be a heck of a lot more qualified to drive, and that’s the lowest rung on the pilot certificate ladder, Private SEL is a step above that and a couple orders of magnitude more difficult than a driver’s license. Commercial is roughly the same as a truck driver’s license to haul hazardous freight.

davemess
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davemess

Car shaming.

9watts
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9watts

Taz Loomans’ use of that term referred to *people who haven’t yet fully relinquished the car*. My statement above was not about people but about the collective disaster that automobility has become. Surely you can appreciate the difference between dissing an individual for still driving, and lamenting the bloody menace that is associated with one-and-a-quarter million dead people as well as the 20-50 million injured or disabled – every year!

El Biciclero
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El Biciclero

Unless a driver is deemed 100% not at fault for a collision, how is actually hitting someone not so-called “prima-facie” evidence of driving in a manner that would be likely to endanger any person or property? Do we have actuaries working in the DA’s office to determine the probability that a given behavior would endanger persons or property before the collision occurred?

GB
Guest
GB

Demonstration is underway in the area. LOTS of cyclists traveling 26, with primarily one man also crossing at the crosswalk just west of 26; letting roughly one vehicle per lane, and then crossing again. Defiantely not the most constructive way to convey the rights of vulnerable road users 🙁

Todd Boulanger
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Todd Boulanger

This vehicle operator reads like a “poster child” for thorough administrative changes in state driver licensing and retaining.

I would also strongly recommend that the presiding judge, if this accused driver is found at fault, also require training on how to use this region’s good transit system and also how to ride a bike, as an adult commuter.

Too often when reading the news, it seems that the system just throws these bad drivers [dangerous] back on the streets to offend without any transportation re-training.

wsbob
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wsbob

“This vehicle operator reads like a “poster child” for thorough administrative changes in state driver licensing and retaining. …” boulanger

Offer some realistic examples of changes to make that you believe could effectively screen out for licensing and retraining this type of person driving; that is, without inefficiently and unfairly burdening the great majority of people driving that responsible, safe drivers.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

For starters: a careless driving citation would take away your license, requiring re-testing (actual driver testing, not the soft-ball written test we have now) if you want your license back. There is a decent chance that this POS would have failed a real driving test.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

If you’re not yet familiar with Oregon’s statute for ‘Careless Driving’, here’s a link to a text of it:

http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.135

This particular statute, is the one and only law frequently referred to as ‘Oregon’s vulnerable road user law’.

You’ll notice that this statute does provide for taking away the license of someone that’s found guilty of ‘careless driving’, for a year, dismissible upon meeting certain conditions.

If you’ve got some ideas about how you think the law should be changed, from how it stands now: offer them here.

From details available so far in news and comments, about the person driving and involved in this collision, there’s little to suggest he couldn’t pass a driver’s test. Plenty of people that are model drivers during testing, at times drive wild and crazy when they get on the road with a motor vehicle. If the DMV could test people for that kind of inclination, the agency could possibly screen some of those drivers out before issuing licenses.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

I guess the DMV could offer a deal…probation driving with a data logger for monitoring speeding and other breaches of the peace or no license for a long time.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Yes you are correct, these changes would make it more rigorous to train for and received a license and would delay the time period to receive one…and require retesting for many. Probably closer to the driving testing regime in Europe. So what was your point?

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

PS. At least this time it sounds like the driver may have had insurance.

(Talk about that recent car insurance ad for “rate suckers”.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlJ61tcd6JI

And kids taking the idea too:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTu01I_qtEA

Jesse MIllan
Guest
Jesse MIllan

start with a left turn signal for on SE 26th Ave and Powell…

J_R
Guest
J_R

Just last week during rush hour I counted about 8 vehicles in the queue to make a left turn from northbound 26th to westbound Powell. Since there is queue storage for only 3 or 4, that meant that the northbound through vehicles were moving into the bike lane to get to the stop bar.

The suggestion for a protected left-turn phase for 26th in both directions would seem to be warranted.

barblin
Guest
barblin

It was 10 am on a Sunday! For Petes sake it was even the SE Sunday Parkways that day (further east). If one is not safe travelling legally through an intersection WITH the light on a Sunday morning then I don’t know when we are safe. This is about a really terrible driver who should not be on the road more than it is about the facilities. The protest has become about Powell but this was all because someone who is not qualified to have a license was behind the wheel and the consequences for his and society’s negligence are unfortunately now borne by Alistair for the rest of his life.

meh
Guest
meh

How things have changed in a few months on BikePortland.

A bike on bike collision drew this reply from Jonathan

“we shouldn’t jump to conclusions about what happened. The person who popped out of the tunnel might have just nosed slightly out and the person who grabbed their brakes could have been startled/overreacting. To me the point is that there is potential for collisions here — I’d rather not get bogged down in who is to blame/at fault for that collision.”

But today we are full on laying blame/fault. How is this situation any different? Ahhh..this one involves a motor vehicle, so it’s okay to make accusations.

Add to this not covering the u-lock throwing rider and removing a witness’ statement that may have laid some of the blame on the cyclist in this incident.

But then again it’s only journalism when you want it to be, otherwise it’s just a blog. I know you only have to cover what you want. No need to turn a critical eye on anything to do with cycling.

Chris I
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Chris I

I guess you didn’t see the post just below this one?

Evan Reeves
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Evan Reeves

There needs to be more enforcement and steeper penalties for drivers who are serial violators. Our system makes it too easy for bad drivers to continue driving – there’s no one out there watching and pulling these potentially dangerous drivers off the road.

How many times have you heard about people driving on suspended licenses? Penalties and fees will not stop them and it will continue to threaten the safety of cyclists and pedestrians alike.

Adam H.
Guest
Adam H.

Revoke his license for life. He has shown to be not responsible enough to handle driving a motor vehicle.

Scott
Guest
Scott

” the threshold for a careless driving charge is reached if someone drives in a, “manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property.” ” Is there ANY question that this situation far surpasses that threshold???