Harvest Century September 22nd

Woman driving in collision that killed Mark Angeles receives traffic citation

Posted by on November 6th, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Mark Angeles
(Photo: Reed College)

The woman who was driving the car that killed Mark Angeles back in May has been given a traffic citation.

The Portland Police Bureau announced today that the Multnomah County District Attorney has decided to not pursue criminal charges in the case against Jolene Friedow. With their investigation concluded, Ms.Friedow has been issued a ticket for making a dangerous left turn, a violation that carries a maximum fine of $260.

Here’s more from the official statement:

On November 3, 2015, a Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division Fatal Investigator issued a traffic citation to a driver involved in a fatal crash with a bicycle rider in May 2015. 
40-year-old Jolene Friedow was issued a traffic citation for Oregon Revised Statue 811.350 (Dangerous Left Turn) as a result of the investigation into the traffic death of 22-year-old Mark Angeles. The violation carries a fine of up to $260.00.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office reviewed the case and determined it could not proceed with criminal charges against the driver and supports the issuance of a citation. 

This investigation started on May 27, 2015, at 12:02 p.m., when East Precinct officers responded to Southeast Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard and Gladstone Street on the report of a traffic crash involving a bicyclist and a tow truck driver.

Officers and medical personnel arrived and located the bicyclist, Mark Angeles, who suffered fatal injuries. 
The North Oregon Towing driver, Jolene Friedow, remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigation. 
Investigators learned that Angeles was riding his bicycle westbound on Southeast Gladstone Street, approaching the intersection with Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard. Friedow was facing eastbound, towing another vehicle, waiting to turn left (northbound) on Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard. Friedow began turning left, and Angeles collided with the passenger side of the tow truck.

Without knowing more details about the DA’s investigation it’s difficult to understand the rationale behind their decision to not pursue more serious charges. However, this case seems to perfectly illustrate the problems we just discussed at our last Wonk Night. There’s a vast gap in Oregon law between a slap-on-the-wrist (traffic ticket) and what it takes for the DA to prove criminal negligence. As we heard from DA Rod Underhill at Wonk Night, this gap is such a significant problem that the DA’s office themselves plans to head to Salem to change the law.

We’ve reached out to the DA’s office and will update this story as soon as we hear back.

UPDATE: 11/9 at 1:27 pm: Please see this post for an update to this story.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

199 Comments
  • Avatar
    Paul Atkinson November 6, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    $260.00.

    That’ll teach a lesson. #SMH

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  • Adam Herstein
    Adam Herstein November 6, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    In not pressing charges, the city/county/state are placing the value of a human life at two hundred and sixty measly dollars. Do you find this acceptable? Would you find this acceptable if it was one of your family members? These are the questions we need to be asking ourselves as a society. Until there is a massive culture shift at all levels, these kind of preventable tragedies will continue. PBOT is taking baby steps towards Vision Zero and this is commendable, but we need radical change NOW.

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      pink$$ November 6, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      If I recall correctly, a friend of mine is paying $260 for taking a right on red in Woodburn where there was a camera, but not a “No right on red” sign. So it costs was much to kill someone in Portland doing something illegal (reckless left turn) as it does to do something legal and relatively benign in a suburb where a camera can take a picture of you.

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        Paul November 7, 2015 at 4:33 pm

        Why is your friend paying the fine if right on red was not prohibited?

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          pink$$ November 7, 2015 at 6:57 pm

          No real clue… the lawyer she spoke to basically said there’s no way to fight it because there is clear photo evidence and the camera always wins.

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            Bay Area Rider November 8, 2015 at 5:14 am

            Where I live it is considered to be a red light violation if you make a right turn on a red without stopping. The city will only issue the ticket if the video shows that you were going 10mph or faster when you made the right turn. If you stop, or are going less than 10 mph when you make the turn then no ticket gets issued.

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      wsbob November 6, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      “In not pressing charges, …” herstein

      Maybe you don’t care to, but I think people that believe in the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, would like to know before making gross presumptions about the DA’s valuation of human life…what the police investigation found as to reasons the collision occurred, and why the DA’s office could not proceed with criminal charges.

      Though this collision had a terrible consequence, in reacting to it, it appears that people reading here so far, have not given consideration to what may have been the behaviors that contributed to this collision, or how exactly they should be lawfully responded to.

      It should go without saying, that the police and the DA’s office have already considered that known actions factoring into this collision did not meet the criteria Oregon statutes for ‘reckless driving’ and ‘careless driving’. So if those laws are, at least presently, unable to offer recourse for actions contributing to collisions of this type, what suggestions might there be to change them so they could offer recourse? Or, what might a new law prescribe?

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      • Adam Herstein
        Adam Herstein November 7, 2015 at 1:10 am

        If your driving results in the death of another person, then you should absolutely be held fully accountable for that death. If the Oregon laws don’t acknowledge this, then they must be changed.

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          Paul Wilkins November 7, 2015 at 7:50 am

          The question is whether the action was criminal, under the terms of existing law.

          Is prison really the best answer? expect that civil liability will be found, which can impose a burden on the driver that might not be as simple as imprisonment, but could restrict her freedom for the rest of her life. The albatross carries a mighty powerful curse.

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            Psyche List November 7, 2015 at 8:19 am

            Losing your license for months / years / life, and fines in the thousands, or tens of thousands, would be a very simple start. SOME form of real consequence.

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            J_R November 7, 2015 at 8:30 am

            I appreciate your comment about the burden that the tow truck driver may carry for the rest of her life, but I’m not sure I believe it. The driver who “‘unexpectedly’ spun out of control on the ice” and hit my sister-in-law believed she “did nothing wrong.” Maybe in the future she will come to believe she had some responsibility, but it didn’t seem that way in the wake of the crash. Also, how do you explain repeat drunk drivers? Big fines, prison time, or whatever will not bring back those killed or adequately compensate those with ongoing disabilities, but it might cause the next driver to be more careful, focus on driving, and, thus, prevent the next crash.

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          • Adam Herstein
            Adam Herstein November 7, 2015 at 12:19 pm

            Prison would not be the answer here, but a suspension of the driver’s license for an extended period of time (years) should occur. Some community service (perhaps something fitting the crime, like helping traffic cops catch people speeding or something) could be issued as well. This person does not need to be removed from society, but they should have their privelage of operating a deadly machine revoked.

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          wsbob November 7, 2015 at 12:52 pm

          “If your driving results in the death of another person, then you should absolutely be held fully accountable for that death. If the Oregon laws don’t acknowledge this, then they must be changed.” herstein

          In what way, change Oregon laws responding to the death, or serious injury of a person by another person that was driving?

          To see what you believe they currently provide for, and how you think they maybe should be changed, browse Oregon laws over at oregonlaws.org. There’s no law there for simply ‘Vehicular Homicide’ but here’s a link to that site, for ‘Aggravated vehicular homicide’, which has DUI as part of its criteria.

          http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/163.149

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        Wells November 7, 2015 at 10:25 am

        A relevant argument to make is that of a Constitutional Inequity. Bicycling infrastructure is an investment that would save lives because automobile infrastructure presents this “extremely severe impediment” to all other modes of urban/suburban travel – bicycling, walking and mass transit. According to State and Federal statutes, gas taxes fund roads only.

        One could argue that because automobile infrastructure dominates, even driving cannot achieve its optimal function nor a nominal function safely.

        Oh wait… the self-driving car – of the future! – solves everything! Wheee!

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          lop November 7, 2015 at 4:10 pm

          >According to State and Federal statutes, gas taxes fund roads only

          By statute some of the federal gas tax (~16%?) is diverted from the highway fund to mass transit. A much smaller amount (<1%?) is put into a fund to pay for the clean up of leaking underground storage tanks. Some years ago Sec. Peters said 60% of gas tax revenue is highway and bridge construction. The rest is earmarks and mass transit. Some of those earmarks are road projects, but she seemed to say a lot were not.

          GWEN IFILL: Aren't many of those projects, even though they're special interest projects, aren't they roads and bridges, often?

          MARY PETERS: Gwen, some of them are, but many of them are not. There are museums that are being built with that money, bike paths, trails, repairing lighthouses. Those are some of the kind of things that that money is being spent on, as opposed to our infrastructure.

          https://web.archive.org/web/20120722020325/http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/transportation/july-dec07/infrastructure_08-15.html

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        Alan Kessler November 9, 2015 at 9:54 am

        The question of guilt is different from the standard of liability. Nobody has disputed that Friedow drove her truck, and in doing so killed Angeles. The fact that the ticket issued means that the state believes that she violated the statute prohibiting dangerous left turns.

        There could be a criminal law written that had a lower standard of liability. For example, a driver could be strictly liable for any death that results out of a moving violation. If this were the law, then the state would still need to prove that Friedow was driving, that the left turn was dangerous, and that the dangerous turn resulted in Angeles’ death. However, if these three things were shown, then Friedow would be ‘proven guilty’.

        Currently, there are additional requirements relating to the state of mind of the driver. Under the current laws, if the DA can’t prove that the driver acted with the requisite state of mind, then the state can’t make the case against the driver. With these mens rea requirements in place, if the driver is smart enough to say “I didn’t see him/her,” the driver is very likely to get away with it.

        Nobody here is asking the state to dispatch with the 7th Amendment. Instead, I think many of us would like to see the statutes recognize driving as a dangerous activity and not include a mens rea element. Instead of requiring the prosecutor to prove that the defendant had a culpable mental state, it should be enough to show that the driver violated a statute resulting in injury or death.

        If this makes people nervous to drive because even an accidental slip-up or a momentary lapse of judgment could land the driver in jail, that’s the whole point.

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          wsbob November 9, 2015 at 12:00 pm

          “There could be a criminal law written that had a lower standard of liability. …” alan kessler

          A lower threshold ‘for’ liability. In simple terms, the person driving bears the burden of responsibility for consequences of collision with a vulnerable road user, in which the vulnerable road user sustained injuries and or damage to their property due to the collision.

          Factors consisting of actions on the part of the vulnerable road user involved in such a collision, and possibly contributing to the collision, is I think something that will have many people hesitant to support a Strict Liability law in Oregon.

          Especially people that are good drivers may feel: ‘ I’m a good, conscientious and safe driver consistently following the rules of the road. The collision occurred not due to my actions, but because the other person, the vulnerable road user, neglected their responsibility to take reasonable precaution in using the road as a vulnerable road user.’.

          Are people today commonly aware of, and do they understand and largely agree together on what are reasonable responsibilities and precautions for a vulnerable road user to be taking in their use of the road where motor vehicles are in use? Maybe not.

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    • John Liu
      John Liu November 6, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      Criminal prosecution is not used to value and compensate for the loss of a life. That is what a civil lawsuit is for. The tow company has assets and insurance, and Mark’s family should be suing them.

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        kittens November 7, 2015 at 3:14 pm

        But then wouldn’t you have to prove the towing company had a policy or lack there-of, which resulted in this guy getting killed?

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      Psyche List November 7, 2015 at 8:51 am

      The WA vulnerable user law is extremely weak, but it’s a start. Is there anything comparable in OR?

      http://www.cascade.org/2012/07/vub-law-on-july-1

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        Alan 1.0 November 7, 2015 at 11:48 am

        Is RCW 46.61.526 Negligent driving — Second degree — Vulnerable user victim (etc) the WA law you refer to? Compare it to OR’s ORS 811.135 Careless Driving. They seem similar to me.

        Psyche List, how widely and consistently has RCW 46.61.526 been applied, in your knowledge? It seems like ORS 811.135 has not been used consistently and I’ve not seen good explanations as to why that is.

        I found this article on Cascade Bicycle Club interesting:

        “In an effort to ensure successful processing and prosecution of infractions, the Seattle City Attorney’s Office (SCAO) sent a memorandum to the Seattle Police Department last month to clarify the Vulnerable User Law and to caution officers responding to collisions involving ‘vulnerable users’ to refer these cases to the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad for charging.”

        http://www.cascade.org/2013/09/vulnerable-user-memorandum

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          wsbob November 9, 2015 at 9:26 am

          Oregon does have a law for ‘vehicular assault’ of people biking and people walking, titled ‘Vehicular assault of bicyclist or pedestrian’

          For comparison to Washington’s law, following, is the text:

          811.060¹

          Vehicular assault of bicyclist or pedestrian

          • penalty

          (1) For the purposes of this section, recklessly has the meaning given that term in ORS 161.085 (Definitions with respect to culpability).

          (2) A person commits the offense of vehicular assault of a bicyclist or pedestrian if:

          (a) The person recklessly operates a vehicle upon a highway in a manner that results in contact between the persons vehicle and a bicycle operated by a person, a person operating a bicycle or a pedestrian; and

          (b) The contact causes physical injury to the person operating a bicycle or the pedestrian.

          (3) The offense described in this section, vehicular assault of a bicyclist or pedestrian, is a Class A misdemeanor. [2001 c.635 §5]

          http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.060

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        soren November 8, 2015 at 11:44 am

        Washington has a vehicular assault law. We should too.

        http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.61.522

        (1) A person is guilty of vehicular assault if he or she operates or drives any vehicle:

        (a) In a reckless manner and causes substantial bodily harm to another; or

        (b) While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, as defined by RCW 46.61.502, and causes substantial bodily harm to another; or

        (c) With disregard for the safety of others and causes substantial bodily harm to another.

        (2) Vehicular assault is a class B felony punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

        (3) As used in this section, “substantial bodily harm” has the same meaning as in RCW 9A.04.110.

        [(b) “Substantial bodily harm” means bodily injury which involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ, or which causes a fracture of any bodily part;]

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      Eyal November 7, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      No brakes no case…
      I heard he rode a fixed gear brake less !!

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        Hazel November 8, 2015 at 3:03 pm

        A fixed gear bike has breaks built in – if you pedal backwards, you stop the bike. Some also have additional hand brakes similar to other bikes, but many do not. You probably had a bike like that when you were a kid.

        Spurious rumours aren’t the best place to start if one wants to try to address a problem.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 8, 2015 at 3:59 pm

          The bike I had a a kid had a coaster brake (and a hand operated front brake). With a coaster brake, when you pedal backwards, the rear wheel locks and stops spinning… not terribly safe on its own, and certainly nother enough for high speed riding. I thought with a fixie, you can only remove energy from the rear wheel with the strength of you legs, pusing backwards. If we assume your strength is the same going forward and in reverse, you can only decelerate as fast as you can accelerate. Less, in fact, since during deceleration, your weight shifts forward (and is why front brakes are so much more effective than rear ones). I don’t know the particulars of the bike in question here, but a fixie with no hand brakes does not have “brakes built in” in any meaningful sense.

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            Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 8, 2015 at 4:38 pm

            Mz Kitty is right. Coaster brakes are the “pedal backwards” ones. A proper “fixie” doesn’t coast, nor does it brake. You use your legs to attempt to slow down.

            Not all single-speeds are fixies. Some fixies have brakes/brake levers, which is advisable for use in the real world (vs the track, where brakes are dangerous while drafting).

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed-gear_bicycle

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            Dan November 9, 2015 at 7:26 am

            If you haven’t ridden a fixed gear bike, you don’t really know what you’re talking about.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty November 9, 2015 at 9:14 am

              I have never ridden a fixie, but I do have some familiarity with the laws of physics, so I feel confident saying that I’d your bike has no front brake, it is unsafe to ride on the street.

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                lop November 9, 2015 at 12:18 pm

                https://youtu.be/reWdkZKXB00?t=50s

                What if you use your shoe as a brake like this guy?

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                Dan November 9, 2015 at 1:42 pm

                I can tell you flat out that this is false: “you can only decelerate as fast as you can accelerate”.

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            wsbob November 9, 2015 at 9:08 am

            “…With a coaster brake, when you pedal backwards, the rear wheel locks and stops spinning… not terribly safe on its own, and certainly nother enough for high speed riding. I thought with a fixie, you can only remove energy from the rear wheel …” hello kitty

            I’ve read that some people fit their fixed gear front wheel with a caliper brake, giving the bike braking on both front and back wheels. Not having ridden a fixed gear, I wonder how controlled braking, outside of a locked up skid, compares between fixed gear bikes and bikes with caliper brakes on both front and back wheels, for an emergency stop from say…28 mph.

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          middle of the road guy November 9, 2015 at 9:25 am

          And I can just shift my car into reverse to slow down.

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        stephen salter November 9, 2015 at 9:20 am

        in the photo posted on KOIN his fixie had a brake

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    Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 6, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Remember: if you want to kill someone, do it with your car. #visionsomething

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      Bryan B November 6, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      I think you nailed it — the problem is not that the DA’s office is placing a value on a life (as above commenters indicated), but that we have no policies in place for making traffic violations more costly if they harm someone. An illegal left turn that doesn’t kill someone is punishable by the same fine as one that does. Negative outcomes related to traffic violations (e.g. fatalities) should affect the consequent punishment. Violence inflicted by traffic is acceptable in the current policy environment, whereas most other causes of violence are unacceptable.If she had been under the influence of alcohol when driving, we have policies in place for much stronger punishments. Driving with negligence doesn’t have a comparable punishment.

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        Brendan Treacy November 9, 2015 at 12:59 pm

        I don’t see why this isn’t obvious. Here’s an analogy:
        If I light off bottle rockets it’s illegal. If I’m caught there’s probably a small fine. But if I burn down someone’s house with the bottle rockets (unintentionally), then I would expect to be held responsible for it and face a much stronger punishment. How is this any different? It seems like cars are protected because the vast majority of people can identify with their drivers.

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      Two Nickels November 7, 2015 at 8:37 am

      ***Two Nickels, you comment had been deleted. We do not tolerate threats of violence here, regardless of who they are directed at. I hope you understand. Thank you – Jonathan Maus**

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      AIC November 9, 2015 at 8:53 am

      I highly doubt the driver set out that day with the goal of killing someone.

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        Jeff Snavely November 9, 2015 at 9:36 am

        Nor did they set out with the goal of NOT killing someone. With no deterrent to vehicular killing hey never will.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 9, 2015 at 10:11 am

          I think that’s a goal shared by (almost) every driver and cyclist out there.

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            pink$$ November 9, 2015 at 11:53 am

            I think that’s wishful thinking.

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            El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 11:58 am

            Is it a goal? Or is it merely an assumption? I don’t expect to kill anyone today, but am I actively doing everything I can to avoid it? Someone with a goal of not killing anyone doesn’t try to push it by making last-second left turns across oncoming traffic. Someone with a goal of not killing anyone doesn’t drive 10-over every place they go. Someone with a goal of not killing anyone looks to the right before they make a right turn…

            I think most drivers don’t plan to kill anyone, but rather than having a goal of not doing so, they have assumptions that their potential victims will be encased in steel and balloons, or will scurry out of their way to avoid being killed. They assume that the goal of not being killed, shared by everyone else, will play the largest role in preventing any deaths at their hand.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty November 9, 2015 at 12:24 pm

              My prime directive not getting myself killed in traffic, yet I often find myself taking risks on my bike to save a small amount of time. Do I really value my life that little?

              Or is there something else at work here, some psychological complexity that would allow me to hold the contradictory mindesets of very much wanting to avoid death, while at the same time risking that outcome for a small benefit?

              And could this same complexity lead people to take actions while driving that risk of injuring themselves or another, an outcome that most people dread more than anything?

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                El Biciclero November 10, 2015 at 12:38 pm

                “I often find myself taking risks on my bike to save a small amount of time.”

                Right. This means your goal in that moment is to save time. You hope and assume that it won’t kill you.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty November 10, 2015 at 12:46 pm

                Well, ok, my goal is to get to my destination. Staying alive is an inviolable constraint on how I achieve that goal.

                My point is that people take risks with their own lives that are utterly irrational (and I know I’m not the only one). It points to a fundamental flaw with the way humans judge risk and reward. It requires special training to overcome that flaw, and even then, we have no shortage of examples of where it doesn’t work.

                We’re dealing with a human limitation.

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    Alan 1.0 November 6, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Any word on why not 811.135?

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    J_R November 6, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    I attended the Wonk Session with the DA so I understand some of the issues they face, but couldn’t they come up with SOMETHING ELSE? Korkett “only” lost a leg, so they were hampered by limitations of the state law, but Mark Angeles was killed. Doesn’t that at least allow the VRU statute to apply?

    I’m stunned.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 6, 2015 at 5:33 pm

      Good questions J_R. I will be looking more into this case next week. It’s tough to follow-up on a story when the news comes out late on a Friday.

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        J_R November 6, 2015 at 5:41 pm

        If one were cynical, one might think that a story would come out late on a Friday afternoon because someone hoped that it would be “lost” in the background of other activities.

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        Kristi Finney Dunn November 6, 2015 at 10:03 pm

        I thought the DA said specifically that the difference between being able to charge or not in this type of situation is if there WAS a death. Alistair: no death = no charge, Mark: death = able to charge.

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          J_R November 7, 2015 at 9:53 am

          Your understanding of what the DA said is exactly what I thought I heard, too.

          If you read the O-Live comments about the decision by the DA (not to charge with a crime) it’s apparent that many O-Live commenters still believe Mark Angeles was totally at fault or partially at fault. The failure to charge the tow truck driver for a crime reinforces the belief by many motorists that “it’s just an accident” and that “as long as it’s not intentional, it’s not really their fault.”

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        Al Dimond November 7, 2015 at 8:45 pm

        The same thing happened in Washington. Legislatures pass these laws, clearly in response to incidents like these, intending to mandate that people pay attention and drive cautiously. Prosecutors and courts ignore them.

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      soren November 8, 2015 at 11:53 am

      The DA is elected by drivers who have “accidents”.

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    oregon111 November 6, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    some time back in the 90s, a group bicycle ride was going by a parking lot where I was parked…

    as I was backing up my car, some girl on a bike purposefully got right behind my car — I saw her in my rear view mirror,so I stopped

    this was at night — I could have killed her all due to her hatred of cars, not my fault at all

    the bikey people just want to be able to harrass cars and get away with it

    I see right through this kind of stuff

    most voters here are democrats, but we also drive cars — this proposed legislation will not pass, and if it does, the politicians will lose their jobs as the bike crowd gets amped up to attack cars even more

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      J_R November 6, 2015 at 6:29 pm

      Let’s get this straight. You were backing into a roadway where there were a “bunch of cyclists.” One of them, a woman, stopped behind you to prevent your backing maneuver and to alert you to the fact that there were cyclists passing who you might not otherwise have seen. Your interpretation is that she hates cars and that if you had backed over her, it wouldn’t have been “your fault at all.” I think she saved you from completing an illegal, ill-advised maneuver and from killing or injuring someone.

      I think there is some hatred being exhibited here and I don’t think it’s the “bikey people.”

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        oregon111 November 10, 2015 at 7:18 pm

        no, the bike crowd had stopped to take a break from their group ride at the parking lot where my car was parked — the girl broke from the group to start trouble — there were no bikes riding nearby

        this just shows your predjudice

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      Endo November 6, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      Yeah, I hate cars. They murder people every day. Why shouldn’t I hate cars?

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      • Adam Herstein
        Adam Herstein November 7, 2015 at 1:12 am

        Cars don’t kill people, their drivers do. But the car definitely helps.

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      Chris I November 7, 2015 at 6:49 am

      Cars are used to kill 30,000+ people in this country each year, and cyclists are the ones doing the harassing? You are delusional.

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      Alex Merz November 7, 2015 at 11:52 am

      Full stop.

      What we are talking about here: a wonderful young man — who had just finished his degree in one of the most demanding Chemistry departments in the United States, while doing a ton of community service. This kid — this young man with his whole life ahead of him, who was obeying the law to the letter, is slaughtered in his prime because of the gross negligence of another user of the road.

      Full stop.

      Please make the SLIGHTEST effort to think about what you write here.

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      pink$$ November 7, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      First lesson: learn how to back-in park.

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    oregon111 November 6, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I also want to say, I feel sorry for Mark and his family, but cycling on roads with cars is dangerous — don’t do it if you value your life and limbs

    I used to ride my bike on roads when I was younger and dumber — now I don’t and I am glad and lucky that I never got hit

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      rick November 6, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      39th Ave is a public road.

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      9watts November 6, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      “but cycling on roads with cars is dangerous”

      Hm. I wonder why it is so dangerous?

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      estherc November 6, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      Driving cars on roads with semi trucks is dangerous so don’t do that either I suppose. Better stay home, can’t walk. That is dangerous too.

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    • Adam Herstein
      Adam Herstein November 7, 2015 at 1:24 am

      The leading cause of death for children aged 1-18 is car crashes. Cars are too dangerous, better find a different way to get around.

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        David November 7, 2015 at 7:26 am

        It’s actually the leading cause of death for people in the US under 34.

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      Chris I November 7, 2015 at 7:01 am

      Actually, the most dangerous thing you can do is drive a car on a high-speed, undivided, rural road, especially at night. A person commuting to work on a rural road is much more likely to be injured or killed than someone commuting on a bike in Portland.

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      Glenn November 7, 2015 at 11:27 am

      So you’ve kept off those roads ever since? Or did you drive a car on them and make them even more unsafe? Seems to me whenever there is a crappy situation there are usually two main choices – a brave response that works toward making it better, and a cowardly one that makes it worse.

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        Glenn November 7, 2015 at 11:53 am

        Why wouldn’t I bet on law and order? Are you saying people should bet their lives that it’s anarchy out there and NO ONE understands or obeys the law? The logical conclusion of that would be to shoot every person you see when you walk out the front door. They were just going to murder you anyway. Better safe than sorry.

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          Glenn November 7, 2015 at 12:00 pm

          Oopsie, what the heck, looks like I replied to myself! ECHO CHAMBER

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      K'Tesh November 7, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      And just how many people are killed while driving in their own cars? It seems that driving is a much more dangerous activity than riding a bicycle.

      A recent Newsweek article (http://www.newsweek.com/us-traffic-deaths-injuries-and-related-costs-2015-363602) predicts that 2015 will see 40,000 people killed this year from automotive crashes. That’s not all bicyclists and pedestrians.

      In 2013, traffic deaths were 32,719 of which 743 were bicyclists, and 4,735 were pedestrians. So, if bicycling is so dangerous, how come 27,241 automotive occupants were killed? That year it was almost five times more lethal to be in a car. I strongly believe that they weren’t all hit by pedestrians or cars, nor were all of them swerving to avoid non-motorized users of the roadway.

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        K'Tesh November 7, 2015 at 7:42 pm

        I need to proof read better…

        That year it was almost five times more lethal to be in a car. I strongly believe that they weren’t all hit by pedestrians or bicycles, nor were all of them swerving to avoid non-motorized users of the roadway.

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        9watts November 7, 2015 at 7:48 pm

        Thanks for that link, K’Tesh.
        Vision Zero… Hm.
        “The United States is on track to have its deadliest traffic year since 2007, the National Safety Council says, with nearly 19,000 people killed as a result of motor vehicle accidents between January and June—a 14 percent increase over the same period last year.”

        Meanwhile Sweden’s not slowing down:
        “With deaths reduced by half since 2000, they are well on their way.”
        http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/02/economist-explains-16

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        middle of the road guy November 9, 2015 at 9:31 am

        In that case, we clearly need more investment in automobile infrastructure to make it safer.

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      eddie November 8, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      you don’t bike on “roads?” what do you do, bike up and down your driveway?

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      El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 10:14 am

      Are you still dumb enough to cross the street by legally walking in crosswalks? If so, you’re just rolling the dice…

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    B. Carfree November 6, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Why bother driving safely when there are no consequences? Just expect the pedestrians, cyclists and drivers of small vehicles to yield at all times or be mowed down.

    This actually starts with the police departments not doing an adequate job of enforcing the vehicle code. Apparently, it’s not the size of the penalty so much as the certainty of paying it that changes behavior. If we want Vision Zero, instead of zero vision, we are going to need a whole lot more traffic law enforcement. It’s going to need to be visible, annoying and ubiquitous (all those residential streets as well). I suspect our fair city and state aren’t on board for that…yet.

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    estherc November 6, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    The penalty is “up to $260”. She might not even get fined that much.

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      El Biciclero November 7, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      I think $260 is the presumptive fine for “Dangerous Left Turn”, a Class B traffic violation. The maximum fine for Class B traffic violations is $1000.

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    Josh Chernoff November 6, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    The concept of making a mistake and being forgiven seems to elude the majority. While I want to live in a world where there is accountability I don’t know that I’m willing to sacrifice it all and live in a dogmatic dictatorship driven by reactive consequence.

    In short I blamed the city and the state way before I blamed the driver and its not like the DA is gonna charge the city.

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      J_R November 6, 2015 at 9:15 pm

      What blame to you assign to the City and the State? Putting bike lanes on Gladstone? Having a traffic signal at the intersection? Not having stronger licensing requirements? Seriously, what is there in your mind that elevates the city and the state being at fault above the driver in this colision?

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      bendite November 6, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      So you want accountability, but no significant consequences for people who kill others by doing something illegal and negligent?

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    • Adam Herstein
      Adam Herstein November 7, 2015 at 1:28 am

      If your actions result in the death of another person, the law typically prosecutes to the full extent. Why is it when the cause of death is some driving an automobile is that rule suddenly waived?

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      9watts November 7, 2015 at 8:59 am

      “The concept of making a mistake and being forgiven seems to elude the majority. While I want to live in a world where there is accountability I don’t know that I’m willing to sacrifice it all and live in a dogmatic dictatorship driven by reactive consequence.”

      Those two options seem pretty far apart to me. Have you considered that there might be something in between?

      I am all for forgiveness, for recognizing (and, frankly, abolishing) the counterproductive manner in which our ‘justice’ system penalizes poor people and nonwhites while wasting billions, BUT the asymmetry with which careless-death-by-automobile is treated in our legal system ($260 fine; keeps license) relative to careless-death-by-most-other-means (walking children across highway: 36 months in jail)

      http://usa.streetsblog.org/2011/07/14/mother-convicted-of-vehicular-homicide-for-crossing-street-with-children/

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    waterpopp November 6, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    What can us cyclists do to make more people aware of this?

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    Eric Leifsdad November 6, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    What if the police wrote $200 tickets for dangerous, illegal behavior before someone got killed instead of after? It seems like 80% of drivers are in need of some educational enforcement regarding the stop bar, crosswalks, and speed limits at least. You’re supposed to need to know this stuff before you get a license, right?

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      Duncan Parks November 7, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      What if we really implemented automated traffic enforcement so that you had a *real* chance of getting a stiff ticket if you speed, run a red light, etc.? Right now there are 11 (!) red-light cameras in PDX, and photo-radar must be supervised by an officer (http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2015/03/unmanned_photo_radar_get_big_p.html). Can we use this pretty basic tech to make enforcement likely enough to get noticed?

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    Bongo November 6, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    This story is tragic. A young man, with his whole life in front of him, loses his life, and a tow truck driver, lives with a horrible mistake forever. Interpreted as a error by both parties? The truck should NOT have turned in front of the advancing bike (did not see the bike?), and the bike should have stopped for the non-yielding truck (peddling hard, not anticipating the truck). One life lost, one ruined. A fine, jail, civil judgement won’t solve it. It is just Tragic!

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      J_R November 7, 2015 at 7:42 am

      How do you know that Mark Angeles was “pedaling hard?” Do you anticipate every dangerous, illegal maneuver executed by other road users?

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      soren November 7, 2015 at 8:50 am

      “and the bike should have stopped for the non-yielding truck (peddling hard, not anticipating the truck)”

      Victim blaming. The person on the bike had legal right of way.

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    Daniel Costantino November 6, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    How many more times do I have to read that “[a bicycle] collided with [a vehicle]”? For God’s sake, the heavier and/or faster object collides with the lighter and/or slower object, not the other way around. It makes it sound like the cyclist is the agent and the driver is the victim, regardless of any actual circumstances.

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      davemess November 7, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      If they’re intersecting head on then yes. That is not always the case (as in this situation).

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      El Biciclero November 7, 2015 at 10:57 pm

      I think the “collider” is generally thought of as the vehicle whose front end runs into the other vehicle, regardless of who caused the collision to happen.

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    Aeg November 6, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    My disabled 83 year old father recently forgot to use his handicap placard when he parked in a handicap space and received a $450 citation. This is tragic.

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      El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 10:27 am

      Must have been a 2nd offense, which is considered a Class A traffic violation; a first offense is a Class C violation (ORS 811.615—see the last paragraph). Even still, repeated parking in a disabled stall is considered more severe than a moving violation involving enough poor judgment that someone dies as a result?

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    Jason November 6, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    I read somewhere that more people are killed, in this country, by automobiles than by guns. Guns are MEANT to kill, yet more deaths occur due to improper use of a motor vehicle.

    If I go outside and randomly fire rounds from a gun and hit and kill someone, even though it’s accidental, even though I didn’t see the person, even though the person walked/drove/cycled/etc into the path of my bullet, I would be charged with a serious crime. It’s time that we hold vehicle operators to standards that are as serious as those for the things that are designed to kill.

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      Carrie November 7, 2015 at 9:38 am

      Exactly. Thank you Jason.

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      Mark November 7, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      Yes. I have used this exact argument in discussions.

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      Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 7, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      Roughly the same number of deaths from guns and deaths from cars per year (30k each).

      Gun apologists will mention there is a lot more “suicide by gun” than “homicide by gun”. Still adds up to 30k for a device that can’t deliver new bike parts to my door.

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      B. Carfree November 7, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      You would be charged with a misdemeanor even if you didn’t hit anyone with the bullet. That’s the key here. We need to charge motorists who engage in dangerous driving BEFORE they hit someone. We need to break those poor driving habits with some citation-based education.

      Sadly, our police departments all disagree with me on this. They make cutesy videos with slogans like “Speed Kills”, when there are oh so many dangerous driving habits that kill 35,000 annually, maim over 2,000,000 and discourage some unknown number of millions from cycling and walking.

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    q`Tzal November 6, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Eliminate laws making “vehicular” crime anything less than crime.
    Vehicular manslaughter? No, just manslaughter.

    Just because you killed someone with your automobile doesn’t mean the law should give you preferential treatment.

    In reality we’ve allowed the creation of a whole subset of laws that apply only to automobiles.
    Imagine substituting the word “automobile” in legal code with another tool that is dangerous like a pneumatic nailer, knives, guns or maybe a flamethrower.

    Nothing makes our automotive havoc enabling laws truly seem as ridiculous as swapping out every instance in legal code with something to do with flamethrowers.

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      eddie November 8, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      I think the problem with your logic is, the US economy – and to some degree the culture – literally pushes people into car ownership to the point that most adults use cars for most if not all of their transportation needs.

      Because it’s very easy to mangle someone with a car, and almost literally everyone sort of has to own one to obtain and retain employment, there has to be a separate set of laws to manage situations of auto related mangle ment.

      Maybe the justice system just couldn’t handle the burden of bringing all manslaughter charges to court if they allowed vehicles to be treated as flamethrowers.

      just a thought. hope I’m wrong, actually 🙂

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        q`Tzal November 9, 2015 at 4:47 pm

        It isn’t a logic problem so much as a flat refusal to accept that because we are “car country” we simply have to shut up and die for automotive efficiency.

        I refuse to be roadkill.

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        q`Tzal November 9, 2015 at 5:02 pm

        And yeah, the court systems at every level in the entire country would be flooded with the co sequences of valuing speed over human life.

        To me it comes down to this:
        I can get on a fork lift, cause a disaster and kill people
        I can use a chainsaw carelessly and kill people
        I can use a firearm carelessly and kill people
        I can drive a TriMet bus carelessly and kill people.

        In all these cases I would be prosecuted by the legal system mostly identically.

        If I do the same in a private automobile our legal system has a double layer of “innocent until proven guilty”: even if I’m proven legally at fault there is this bizarre secondary legal assumption that, even with culpability, there was nothing could have been done to avoid the collision.

        We have hard coded a double assumption of innocence in to vehicular collisions so deeply that every adult just assumes that we could never be held responsible for our own actions.

        This is why our roads are anarchy: everyone knows that short of leaving a video testimonial stating that you are going to drive your car into a crowd of people with the specific intent to kill you won’t suffer much if any for your actions behind the wheel.

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    Mike Quiglery November 7, 2015 at 5:36 am

    She (and her company) can still be sued under civil law if his heirs want to pursue it.

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      soren November 7, 2015 at 8:48 am

      The judge and jury are drivers. Until we reform our bigoted legal system victims of traffic violence will continue to be treated like human roadkill.

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    Richard Hughes November 7, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Excellent reporting.Thank you Jonathan.

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    estherc November 7, 2015 at 9:10 am

    If we started making sure that people actually paid a price for killing someone with their vehicles, perhaps people would be more cautious.

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    Carrie November 7, 2015 at 9:45 am

    This is so sad. And scary. And frustrating. And may bring back my road rage [against cars] that I’ve been working so hard to deal with since Mark was killed this summer.

    I just don’t understand how this isn’t manslaughter. I should have gone to wonk night, but even if it WAS an accident and she really didn’t see Mark, she still broke the law, messed up, and KILLED SOMEONE. My understanding is that is what manslaughter is — when you mess up and kill someone, even if you had no intent and it truly was an accident.

    FWIW, we got a speeding ticket (yes, we did in Milwaukee and now drive the speed limit everywhere in 25 mph zone, to the ire of other drivers) and the fine was >$150. The punishment is not fitting the crime.

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      wsbob November 7, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Carrie…Under current Oregon law, manslaughter may not be quite what you understand it to be. Here’s a link to the text for Manslaughter in the First Degree, so you can read through and think about what circumstances those laws address:

      http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/163.118

      On the left sidebar links, check out also, laws for variations, such as Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Criminally Negligent Homicide, Murder, and so on. Behavior meeting the criteria of ‘recklessly’, is part of manslaughter, both first, and second.

      Some people may want to consider that a mistake resulting in serious injury or death, made in using the road with a vehicle, should automatically fall into the category of ‘reckless’, whether or not the person driving or riding, had actually been using the road recklessly up to the point just before when a collision occurred. Someone by all accounts, having used the road responsibly and safely, but in one particular traffic situation having made a mistake with dire consequences: Is that reckless?

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        BeavertonRider November 9, 2015 at 10:43 am

        Finally, some reason is displayed in this thread. Thanks, wsbob.

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      buildwithjoe November 8, 2015 at 10:48 am

      I 100% agree with Carrie ( and most people here ) that the punishment is too small for the very large crime here.

      Our lawmakers are weak and the law is weak 163.118.1(manslaughter) It must be committed…with..
      a) extreme indifference to human life OR
      b) committed intentionally by a defendant under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance OR
      c) neglect, maltreatment, pattern/practice of assault/torture of kid 13 or under.

      Extreme indifference (a) is very hard to prove in this case. We would need driving tickets from other states for this person. We need words from the driver posting email/internet or a statement to friends/neighbors that there was a pattern of indifference or hatred to bikes. (extremism would apply then)

      We need better Oregon lawmakers to protect everyone who needs transportation. Here’s D Bragdon descibing Oregon & others:

      https://youtu.be/Pk1rW5S-S5A?t=34m5s

      Oregon 215 Transporation Bill
      “was old school, no performance measures”
      “Big road widening at the edge of town”
      “key projects for key legislators if they vote the right way”

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    tnash November 7, 2015 at 9:53 am

    every now and then, i see bikers at intersections who intentionally bet their lives on the assumption that drivers 1. See them and 2. Understand and obey traffic laws. I’m seeing it more often now that the rain/fog/darkness is returning. This guy was biking too fast through an intersection. If you took a bunch of Portland bikers and dropped them in Amsterdam, Amsterdam would see a sudden uptick of bike collisions (and bike articles full of outrage). Come on, wake up.

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      Alan Love November 7, 2015 at 10:10 am

      Please note the specifics of this case. 12:02pm. Midday, not low angle sunlight obscuring the vision of the poor driver. There is no excuse for not seeing the victim. “biking too fast”? What’s the posted speed limit for people biking? So you think he was exceeding the posted auto speed limit? Yet again, victim blaming.

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      Terry D-M November 7, 2015 at 10:39 am

      25 MPH speed limit, cyclist has the ROW and are vehicles by Oregon law.

      The truck driver turned directly in front, so the cyclist had no time to stop and collided. If this happened with a car, then the tow truck driver would be completely libel, according to Oregon law and the insurance companies.

      Keep in mind the cyclist had a green light, bike lane and this intersection is retrofitted with a green bike box, so the truck driver was SUPPOSED to be behind the stop bar. If the cyclist would have stopped abruptly at the green light, he could have been REAR ENDED by another VEHICLE behind him (if there was one).

      When you are driving and approach an intersection, do YOU stop at a green light?

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        are November 8, 2015 at 11:22 am

        my understanding is the light was yellow

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          J_R November 8, 2015 at 3:58 pm

          From what source to you derive your “understanding that the light was yellow?”

          Even if it was yellow, the driver has a right to enter into the intersection if he/she cannot stop safely when it turns to yellow. The obligation of the motorist making a left turn is to yield to on-coming traffic. If I’m in the middle of an intersection waiting to turn left, I DO NOT proceed on the yellow until I can tell the on-coming car is stopping. I’ve had too many close calls with people who believe yellow means “speed up to make it through.”

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            lop November 8, 2015 at 6:31 pm

            http://koin.com/2015/11/06/no-charges-in-crash-that-killed-reed-college-graduate/

            “””Police and prosecutors also reviewed video from Friedow’s tow truck that recorded the crash. Investigators determined that Friedow legally stopped and executed her left hand turn. Police said based on witness statements, the video and the crash scene diagraming, Angeles was likely traveling at a high rate of speed trying to make it through the yellow light.”””

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            are November 8, 2015 at 7:32 pm

            from paying attention to reported details rather than leaping to conclusions that satisfy my preconceptions

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              pink$$ November 8, 2015 at 11:33 pm

              “Likely traveling at a high rate of speed to make it through the yellow…” a judgment based on what? Eyewitness accounts and inferences made from a video that has NOT BEEN REPORTED ON in any other source. Sounds like crap journalism to me…

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                are November 9, 2015 at 2:59 pm

                i have not adopted the “high rate of speed” narrative, but under all the circumstances it does appear the light was yellow.

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      Glenn November 7, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      Why wouldn’t I bet on law and order? Are you saying people should bet their lives that it’s anarchy out there and NO ONE understands or obeys the law? The logical conclusion of that would be to shoot every person you see when you walk out the front door. They were just going to murder you anyway. Better safe than sorry.

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      pink$$ November 7, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      That’s funny. I occassionally drive at night and am amazed at how many people I see wearing all black jaywalking all over the place because I keep my eyes PEELED for them. And I don’t hit them because I’m not an f’in psycopath and I’m driving slowly enough to share the road…

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        Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 7, 2015 at 1:07 pm

        I’ve bee seeing this too. It’s kind of surreal to be on a bike at night and be surprised by a pedestrian.

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        soren November 7, 2015 at 1:25 pm

        how dare you drive in a manner that does not put women, children, and men at risk!!1!!!!

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty November 8, 2015 at 12:42 am

        How many do you not see?

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          pink$$ November 8, 2015 at 11:54 pm

          NONE. 🙂 But I actually anticipate things moving parallel to my path or in my periphery to intersect it at any moment. It takes a lot of attention, but it’s possible, especially if it’s more important to me to not kill people than to enjoy driving. Oh, and I drive pretty slow so I can see everything.

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      Robert Burchett November 7, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      So, you should burn a candle for the inventer of the bicycle, else those folks would be rolling the dice in a vehicle that weighs two tons. The proper name for a person who bolts through a red isn’t ‘cyclist’, it’s ‘whacko’.

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        Robert Burchett November 7, 2015 at 12:43 pm

        Note: I do not refer to Mark, who had ¡Right-of-Way!, it was daylight, dry pavement, etc. The times I’ve been hit by a car, I was completely legal, also daylight, also dry pavement, once in so-called bike lane. It’s not about personal choice of vehicle, it’s about the care of the operator.

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      soren November 7, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      that’s hilarious tnash. amsterdam is a city of bike scofflaws. blowing a signal and/or riding without a helment or functioning light is *NORMAL* there.

      i believe one of the goals of bike advocacy should be to make portland more like amsterdam.

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        tnash November 8, 2015 at 9:22 pm

        Maybe try re-reading what I actually wrote.

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          Alan 1.0 November 8, 2015 at 9:47 pm

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XypDTdd4qr0
          “…in order to cycle like an Amsterdammer, I would need to pass several tests:
          1/ cycle home drunk;
          2/ send a text message while cycling home drunk;
          3/ cycle home drunk, at night, without working lights, in a rainstorm, on the wrong side of the street, with a passenger sitting on the back.”

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        eddie November 8, 2015 at 10:06 pm

        I just spent two weeks there… it’s true that no one wears helmets, but Amsterdam bike infrastructure actually doesn’t allow for too many “scofflaws” – there are so many bikes people have to follow the rules of the road, just to get from pt. A to pt. B without interrupting the flow of traffic. It is bike normative, unlike the USA which is mostly vehicle normative.

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          soren November 9, 2015 at 8:43 am

          imo, visitors tend not to notice law breaking because they are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of bike transportation. try looking for it next time you visit and i think you will be very surprised.

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      Chris I November 7, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      You have obviously never ridden a bike in Amsterdam.

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    Mike November 7, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Does anyone know if the cyclist was exceeding the speed limit? Was he flying fast ( must go pretty fast for it go be fatal. Just curious because if he was way up Gladstone street approaching very rapidly he may have been further away than most drivers wold imagine a bike could go. I open it up and hammer it from time to time …. But in town at intersections is not typically one of those times. Not pointing finger at either party just curious because … We just don’t know exactly what transpired before the collision .

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      pink$$ November 7, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Actually to hit the cab of a tow truck and get dragged underneath, you don’t need to be going very fast at all for the collision to be fatal.

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      soren November 7, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      1. it’s extremely unlikely the cyclist was violating the posted speed limit.
      2. victim blaming.

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        davemess November 8, 2015 at 8:58 am

        Regardless of it it is “victim blaming”, it is certainly possible to get above 25 on this stretch of road, which is downhill.

        From the KOIN story:
        “Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Laura Rowan wrote in a memo that neither Angele nor Friedow was traveling a “excessive speed.” The posted speed limited is 25 miles per hour. Friedow was traveling at 10 miles per hour and Angeles at 28 miles per hour, according to her memo.”

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          soren November 9, 2015 at 8:54 am

          that memo is bull feces, imo. the DAs office is a political office and its employees have a conflict of interest when it comes to prosecuting the law. the majority of voters are drivers who can easily imagine hitting one those bikers who are in their way and riding too slowly or too fast. our legal system is systemically biased against vulnerable road users and this won’t change until cycling mode share increases substantially.

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            BeavertonRider November 9, 2015 at 10:46 am

            What conflict do you suppose exists?

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    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 7, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Please be considerate when commenting on this post. I have been contacted by two people about inappropriate comments. It’s Saturday and I’m not able to moderate this thread as closely as I would like. If things continue to get testy in the comments I will just turn them off. I hope you understand.

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    Lizzy November 7, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    I really don’t think the police want to get involved in pursuing this type of thing as it’s difficult to prove, which isn’t right. We currently have no justice in this nation for cyclists being killed by motorist, no matter what the situation. More and more people are not paying full attention while driving a vehicle. It should be illegal for SUVs and oversized trucks to be on the road without a commercial license or at least pay more taxes for driving such vehicles at a time when we are running out of oil. It is impossible to tell where these vehicles end while driving them and their design obscures vision in places that make them very dangerous.

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    SD November 7, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Mike, current conventional perception is that anytime a bike is involved in a collision, the cyclist was going too fast.

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    pink$$ November 7, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    It looks like KOIN is propagating the—dubious, to put it nicely—“pedal faster” narrative of this collision.

    http://koin.com/2015/11/06/no-charges-in-crash-that-killed-reed-college-graduate/

    It just amazes me that Friedow isn’t even claiming she didn’t see Mark. Which is what I remember being the sole argument that redeemed Barry Allen in Alistair’s case.

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      lop November 7, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      The truck had a camera? Would be nice if the video was published somewhere…

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      davemess November 8, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      Interesting that I learned a lot more about the specifics of the case (speeds, light phase, etc.) from that link than from this site.

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    pink$$ November 7, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    It looks like KOIN is propagating the—dubious, to put it nicely—“pedal faster” narrative of this collision.

    http://koin.com/2015/11/06/no-charges-in-crash-that-killed-reed-college-graduate/

    It just amazes me that Friedow isn’t even claiming she didn’t see Mark. Which is what I remember being the sole argument that redeemed Barry Allen in Alistair’s case. Also, I seem to remember Hales confirming Allen is also being charged with careless driving, so he will end up paying more than Friedow by invoking the vulnerable road users law?

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    K'Tesh November 7, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    OH, and that 5 times comment was based on number of non-motorized road users (bicyclists and pedestrians) vs automotive occupant.

    It was almost 37 times more lethal to be in a car in 2013 than on a bike.

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    Hazel November 7, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    This was a terrible tragedy, but no fine or legal charge is going to bring back Mark. No fine will change how drivers judge when it’s safe to make a left turn.

    What would help is making that intersection safer for bikes through any number of means like:

    * allowing left turns only on an arrow,
    * building a bike path or bridge that allows cyclists to easily avoid Caesar Chavez and other high traffic streets,
    * raising awareness for drivers about bike safety,
    * etc.

    Instead of punishing someone who will probably never drive quite the same way again, why not focus on fixing the real problem?

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    are November 7, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    manslaughter requires proof of reckless disregard of a known risk. dangerous left turn requires only that you did in fact turn across the path of someone who had the right of way. i am not sure the prosecutor can prove even that in this case. possibly the cyclist did not have the right of way if the light was already yellow.

    the tow truck driver was waiting in the intersection for the light to turn yellow so oncoming traffic would stop and she could execute a late left. this behavior is widespread, if not actively encouraged. a defensive motorist or cyclist learns to expect this.

    the bicyclist entered the intersection at speed on the yellow. if there was in fact oncoming traffic stopping in the through lane and the cyclist was overtaking on the right in the green lane, there is some possibility the tow truck driver did not see him.

    someone asked upstream what fault might be laid at the feet of the city or state. we might of course flip the cultural norm of hanging in the intersection waiting to make a left on yellow. we might also not create a situation with green lanes and mandatory sidepath laws where cyclists are encouraged to pass on the right.

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      are November 7, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      to be clear: you could prove recklessness if (a) she actually did see the cyclist or (b) if under the circumstances she “should have” seen him.

      if in fact there was at least one car in the oncoming through lane, stopping for the yellow, you would have to get into proving sightlines etc. in order to prove (b).

      or in some alternate universe in which some of us might wish we were living, you could ask the jury to find that in portland and/or at this particular intersection a motorist “should expect” to see a cyclist coming through the yellow, overtaking stopped motorists on the right.

      one way to “flip the cultural norm of hanging in the intersection waiting to make a left on yellow,” as suggested in my previous comment, would be to forbid left turns altogether at any signalized intersection at which you cannot dedicate a left turn lane and a left arrow.

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    El Biciclero November 7, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    This is a sad case, and I don’t quite understand all the legal angles. What it seems like is that if there are no circumstances to show “careless” or “reckless” driving, then only the citation for the actual violation can apply.

    It appears the conundrum is this: if Mr. Angeles had been driving a car, and the truck driver had made this exact same “error in judgment”, Mark would likely still be alive and nobody would care except for the insurance companies. So what makes it different when a driver makes the same kind of mistake, but instead of hitting another car (which likely won’t have such drastic consequences), they hit a bicyclist or pedestrian? Currently, it seems there is no difference in conceptualizing these two scenarios. Why is that? Because we expect drivers to crash into things. We don’t generally think crashing into something with your car is such a terrible mistake that it deserves any real punishment, as long as it was merely the result of an “innocent mistake”. Since crashing into things is an expected outcome of driving, and is so common (i.e., “it could happen to anyone”), we tend to focus not on what (or who) gets hit, but on whether we can somehow show that a particular driver was driving in a manner that was somehow “worse” than all the other regular people who crash into things. In order not to cast too wide a net (so that we don’t end up just outlawing driving altogether), we have set up some criteria that a driver’s mindset and driving behavior must meet before they can be really punished for crashing their car into something/someone. This is essentially making excuses for drivers who hit things, because we want to be sure that a “reasonable person” will have an excuse when their time comes and they hit something with their car.

    To change things, we need to treat driving like public chainsaw juggling, or flying a helicopter, or working with explosives, or throwing knives, or any other thing that people generally think of as “dangerous”. Driving is dangerous all the time, yet we have a citation for “Dangerous Left Turn”—we need to have the attitude that ALL left turns are dangerous! ALL right turns are dangerous! Backing up is dangerous! Going forward is dangerous! Stopping is dangerous—everything we do in a car is dangerous! Yet we don’t think of it that way. If I landed a helicopter in Pioneer Courthouse Square because I wanted some Starbucks and “I thought I could make it”, and whacked off some heads in the process, would people think of that as “oops”, or would I be deemed insane?

    My point is that if I take to the sky in a helicopter, I know I’d better do everything perfectly because the consequences could be dire if I don’t. We need to expect that of drivers. Any time a driver crashes their car, the consequences should be substantial. Drivers should all take to the road knowing they will have to own their mistakes—if that’s too much responsibility, then DON’T DRIVE.

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      Psyfalcon November 8, 2015 at 5:55 am

      First we need to redesign everything so that people are not “forced” to drive.

      The penalties for hunting “accidents” are usually not manslaughter because the shooter was engaged in a lawful activity. Very different from shooting downtown.

      Unless you can convince most people that something other than driving is the most reasonable way to get around, you’ll have a hard time with that. Most people feel they have to drive at some point, even if they aren’t daily car drivers.

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      pruss2ny November 8, 2015 at 9:35 am

      i think i agree but want to be perhaps needlessly provocative…and i am working under the assumption that accidents genuinely happen..countless studies show we have defective abilities to perceive the situation around us even when we are trying REALLY HARD to pay attention (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGQmdoK_ZfY)

      if a driver mistakenly turns left and a car w/ ROW crashes into him, its likely a fender bender w/ insurance companies involved, no one cares.

      if a driver mistakenly turns left and a car w/ ROW crashes into him, and the ROW car is an open jeep and the driver isn’t wearing a seatbelt, is thrown, and suffers serious/fatal injuries, does the driver who was technically hit (while violating ROW) necessarily go to jail? don’t we engage in some level of victim blaming of the driver w/ ROW for not taking basic safety precautions (seat belt…)?

      We are flawed creatures.regardless of if we are biking, driving or walking. Cars ARE inherently more dangerous due to size, speed and sheer #…but to suggest we should do away with cars or that cars kill more people than guns doesn’t advance any solution.

      couple thoughts
      1) cars are on downslide…w/ proliferation of uber and sharing strategies (and generally crummy economy) the idea that the average family will own 2.35 cars (which will sit 76% of the time unused in a garage) is likely over. this means more shared cars…more point to point driving etc

      2) infrastructure/public transportation are obvious longer term goals…but in interim what about strategies to slow intersection traffic (cars + bikes)…
      and why not steal a page from nyc, encourage bike traffic to specific boulevards and make turns (for autos) illegal during commuting hours in high traffic areas?

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        pruss2ny November 8, 2015 at 9:45 am

        sorry in last paragraph “make turns illegal FROM THESE BOULEVARDs during commuting hours…”

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        El Biciclero November 8, 2015 at 5:23 pm

        “We are flawed creatures.regardless of if we are biking, driving or walking. Cars ARE inherently more dangerous due to size, speed and sheer #…but to suggest we should do away with cars or that cars kill more people than guns doesn’t advance any solution.”

        This is kind of my point; if I am bicycling or walking, I present minimal danger to those around me and my mistakes might harm me, but no one else. But certain things are hard to do safely, and present a substantial danger to other people—so very few people do them. I think we pretend safe driving is easier than it really is so we can convince ourselves that “anybody” can do it. We don’t just let anybody perform surgery, or design bridges, or fly commercial jets, or any number of things. And if you goof up any of those things too many times, you are banned for life. We have extensive schooling and training requirements for doctors, pilots, and engineers during which we weed out most of those who are too “flawed” to be allowed to perform them. Not that I equate driving with the level of difficulty and danger involved in the above examples, but I don’t think we treat driving with the level of regulation—including required training, enforcement, and license restriction—that is commensurate with the level of difficulty and danger inherent to the task. We don’t do this because we have allowed driving to become a de facto basic necessity without which people’s lives are hampered to an extent considered “unfair” by most. Therefore, we have to make access to driving less restrictive rather than more restrictive—otherwise too many people will be left at a disadvantage.

        And it is a disadvantage as long as we don’t have any other safe way to get around. Until we have better public transport and more pervasive safe (and direct!!!!!!) bike routes, better car sharing/ride sharing services, etc. You mention Uber, et al.—maybe we should return to the days when driving was considered a specialized skill performed by professionals with extensive training, rather than by every Tom, Dick, and Harry who can skate by our minimal rubber-stamp licensing process. At least that way there could be fewer cars on the road, less traffic and distraction, and maybe a better caliber of driver (assuming “professional” drivers get some kind of professional training).

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    buildwithjoe November 8, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Fellow readers, please make a call in a similar pedestrian death.

    Call and press 6 to leave a message: (503) 823-2103
    In your message mention captain of the Traffic Division Kelli Sheffer.

    a) Pedestrian on Burnside St sidewalk killed by car June 14th, 2015 ( URL below )
    b) Still zero citations have been issued, I checked court computers
    c) Mayor’s office said “there were no citations issued as there was not found to be careless or reckless intent or illegal actions.”
    d) We must go beyond the mayor to the Traffic Division as the Mayor’s staff suggested
    e) ODOT road death reports conflict with the Mayor’s office

    This crash had 5 of the Top 10 driver errors from ODOT

    1) Failure to avoid stopped or parked vehicle ahead 2) Failure to yield right-of-way 3) Failure to maintain lane 4) Ran off road 5) Driving too fast for conditions 6) Following too close 7) Inattention 8) Improper change of traffic lanes 9) Left turn in front of on-coming traffic 10) Disregarded traffic signal
    http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/TDATA/car/docs/2013_QuickFacts.pdf

    Tickets are easily cited. Here are examples and there may be more

    Fail to yield to pedestrian on sidewalk
    http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.025

    Fail to stay in lane
    http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.370

    Operating car in bike lane ( before jumping to sidewalk )
    http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.440

    Due care statute
    http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.005

    When you start choking that’s a condition for a slower speed. General speed rule
    http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.100

    Oregon Live reported the driver as Mr. Walked
    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/06/police_identify_pedestrian_who.html

    To quote the mayor’s staff…
    “no citations issued as there was not found to be careless or reckless intent or illegal actions. In the first horrendous event on the Burnside bridge, the driver of the vehicle actually lost consciousness at the time of the deadly crash….Again, please know that the Traffic Division and the DA’s office work very closely and in concert to investigate and determine charges or citations, if any, regarding vulnerable road users. ”

    Thanks for calling….

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    SK November 8, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Injustice served.

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    Jeff November 8, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    I hate to say this but this doesn’t surprise me, its effectively legal to kill a cyclist as long as you are in your car. I am angry and honestly it makes me even more scared because I know that if I get killed the same way it will automatically be assumed to be my fault and therefore I deserve what I get and the driver will just get a slap on the wrist

    this is despicable

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      buildwithjoe November 8, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Use that anger. Make a positive change by calling and asking for change. I posted the number to call but here it is again (503) 823-2103 x 6. In many cases like the Burnside bridge the car can kill a pedestrian on the sidewalk and not even get a single ticket. Call! Be loud.

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      BeavertonRider November 9, 2015 at 10:51 am

      That anger is clouding your judgment. Itnis not effectively legal to kill others while operating a motor vehicle. This type of hyperbole actually hurts what can be civil discourse.

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        9watts November 9, 2015 at 10:57 am

        “Itnis not effectively legal to kill others while operating a motor vehicle.”

        Really? And this is because you assert it? If pressed how would you support this statement?

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  • Tony T
    Tony T November 8, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Not sure why we can’t at least have a “killed a person and it was your fault” citation which includes a massive fine.

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      9watts November 8, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      I think that is called Strict Liability, or at least that goes a long way towards what you are describing. Whenever I hear people claim that we live in a First World country I cringe. So much of how we conduct ourselves, our laws, our priorities, our politics are retrograde.

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      buildwithjoe November 8, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      please make a call in a similar pedestrian death.

      Call and press 6 to leave a message: (503) 823-2103
      In your message mention captain of the Traffic Division Kelli Sheffer.

      a) Pedestrian on Burnside St sidewalk killed by car June 14th, 2015 ( URL below )
      b) Still zero citations have been issued, I checked court computers
      c) Mayor’s office said “there were no citations issued as there was not found to be careless or reckless intent or illegal actions.”
      d) We must go beyond the mayor to the Traffic Division as the Mayor’s staff suggested
      e) ODOT road death reports conflict with the Mayor’s office

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty November 8, 2015 at 4:01 pm

        These are not similar cases… one was a critical error in judgement, the other a medical emergency.

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          buildwithjoe November 8, 2015 at 4:55 pm

          The “medical” emergency is based on one persons testimony AND a medical issue does not mean laws don’t apply. Unless we have a law that states that.

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            estherc November 8, 2015 at 5:47 pm

            the medical emergency was I believe choking on some soda he was drinking. That is distracted driving, not a medical emergency.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty November 8, 2015 at 7:42 pm

              Ok, I read the driver became unconscious, which seems more a medical issue than one of distraction. Perhaps I am misinformed.

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                buildwithjoe November 8, 2015 at 8:57 pm

                No matter what makes you pass out while driving, you are still at fault. There’s nothing in the law that states you can’t be cited if you pass out. In this case there were witnesses who told the media it was soda. No matter what the cause of passing out: Soda, fasting, invisible odorless gas, old age, diabetes. Passing out and breaking the law is still breaking the law. A family member was hit by a driver who made the excuse they were on a fasting diet. OMG. Still got a ticket, but not in Oregon.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty November 8, 2015 at 10:19 pm

                If something is beyond your control, how are you at fault?

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                Mark November 8, 2015 at 11:11 pm

                I will assert that you cannot choke to unconsciousness on a thin liquid like soda. Sure, you’ll cough a lot, but you’re not going to pass out. I call BS on that driver’s excuse.

                And if it was a medical event, why was the driver not immediately transported to the hospital for a full evaluation? My recollection is that he was allowed to leave the scene under his own recognizance.

                I was initially shocked at this event and remain furious that it was allowed to pass with no consequence for the driver.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty November 9, 2015 at 12:51 am

                Maybe you’re right. I wasn’t there, and all I know is what was reported in the media, here and elsewhere. If the driver didn’t in fact have a medical event, that would definitely change the situation. All I know is that it was reported that the police said he did. Maybe you have better information than I do?

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                J_R November 9, 2015 at 7:02 am

                If a person had a heart attack or similar verifiable event while driving and crashed as a result, I’d consider it reasonable to excuse the driver from prosecution.

                What I find outrageous about this supposed “medical event” being an allowable excuse for killing someone is that it clearly opens the way for any driver to claim a “medical event” for any future action.

                Claiming a medical event when a crash results in death or serious injury should also result in a permanent revocation of a driver’s license.

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                El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 9:37 am

                “If something is beyond your control, how are you at fault?”

                We have to define what constitutes “control”. If you know that you are prone to seizures, that medical condition may be beyond your control, but you should also know not to drive a car, since you are prone to unexpected events that would impair your driving ability. What if I pass out from too much vodka while I’m driving home? Is that “beyond my control”?

                There are things that may be beyond one’s control, but of which one should be aware enough to know better and mitigate.
                There’s a difference, for example, between my neighbor’s tree falling on my house “out of the blue”, and it falling on my house after the neighbor had been warned by a tree expert that it was diseased and weak, and would probably fall soon. The actual cause of the tree falling (wind, ice, soggy ground, whatever) may well be beyond the neighbor’s control, but they knew to take preventive action and didn’t.

                In the case of driving, if you are doing anything other than paying attention to (note paying attention is distinct from looking at) the road and operating vehicular controls, you are taking preventable risks with other people’s lives. Drinking soda, with all its attendant risks and dangers, qualifies as “anything other”. Further, if you know you are subject to sudden impairment (e.g., due to a medical condition), or are already impaired (e.g., ‘do not drive or operate heavy machinery…’) and you choose to drive anyway, you are taking a preventable risk with other people’s lives.

                As is mentioned in other comments, we do have to be careful finding fault if some previously unknown medical condition manifests itself for the first time while someone is driving; in such cases, there really was no awareness of a need to avoid driving or mitigate the unknown condition.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty November 9, 2015 at 10:30 am

                The facts of this situation (as I know them) seem to be aligned with what you described in your final paragraph. Whether the driver suffers from an ongoing medical condition, or this was a one-time freak incident, I am not qualified to say. If it’s the first, the driver’s license should be revoked.

                If drinking a soda is correlated with an increase in crashes, then I would support an education campaign and legal restriction… but maybe not until after we outlaw talking on your cell phone while driving.

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                wsbob November 9, 2015 at 11:11 am

                “…And if it was a medical event, why was the driver not immediately transported to the hospital for a full evaluation? …” Mark

                I haven’t done a search, but current Oregon law may not oblige people driving and that have been in a collision, to immediately submit to a medical evaluation to explore possibility that a previously undetermined medical condition contributed to the collision.

                Whether Oregon should have such a law, if one could be drawn up that would be workable, seems like something worth giving thought to.

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                9watts November 9, 2015 at 11:37 am

                I think the point was that you shouldn’t be able to have it both ways.

                Either it was a medical event, serious enough to let the driver off the hook from killing someone, in which case you’d think this would deserve/require more medical attention than seemed to have been sought or offered.
                Or it was not really a medical event, but a convenient excuse (and we’ve seen many), in which case the absence of any serious medical attention or post-crash evaluation wouldn’t be necessary.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty November 9, 2015 at 11:56 am

                I have experienced a rather sudden loss of consciousness (related to rapid exposure to extreme heat, unconnected to driving). I did not require medical attention (luckily, as none was available). Had that (somehow) occurred while I was driving, it surely would have crashed, yet the incident would neither deserve nor require medical attention.

                If your position is based on the assertion that the driver was lying (and that the investigators were either duped or complicit), then let’s focus on that. If the driver did lie, then that completely changes the character of the incident as I understand it, and my assessment of it would likely change as well.

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                El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 1:38 pm

                “If drinking a soda is correlated with an increase in crashes, then I would support an education campaign and legal restriction… but maybe not until after we outlaw talking on your cell phone while driving.”

                I’m not really talking about the legal status of engaging in particular distractions (i.e., cell use vs. eating vs. smoking vs. etc.) while driving, I’m attempting to illustrate an idea of taking responsibility for preventable risks to other people’s lives. My position is that anyone doing anything behind the wheel other than driving is taking just such risks. The fact that someone has successfully drunk soda 659 other times while driving does not make it any less of a non-driving activity that serves only to distract. The fact that this once—after 659 (a made-up number for illustration only) successful soda-consumptive events—it turns out poorly, does not mean it was any less risky those other 659 times. This is the nature of our attitude toward driving in general: if I have successfully managed to drive around for this long without killing anyone, driving the way I do (even if I usually drive 10-over while eating breakfast, shaving and catching up on email) must be safe! We just don’t take driving seriously. This attitude has to end if we are to improve the safety of the roads as built today. How to end it…?

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      Alan 1.0 November 8, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      “Massive fine” (etc.) refers to the penalty aspect. There’s also a matter of accountability. 811.350 (Dangerous Left Turn) hardly seems to convey the same account as, say, 811.xyz (Fatality).

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    S Brian Willson November 8, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    “We value speed more highly than we value human life. Then why not say so, instead of every few years having one of those hypocritical campaigns (at present it is ‘Keep Death off the Roads”), in the full knowledge that while our roads remain as they are, and present speeds are kept up, the slaughter must continue?”

    -George Orwell ‘As I Please’, Tribune Newspaper, London, November 8, 1946

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      q`Tzal November 9, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Oh thank you so much!
      This one is saved.

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    S Brian Willson November 8, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    “The contrast between the bicycle and the motor car is a very good illustration of technology on a human scale. The bicycle is a supreme example of ergonomics – the optimum adaptation of a machine to the human body, so that it uses this power efficiently…The motor car, on the other hand, is a machine of INhuman scale as regards its size, its weight, its power (from 100 to 1,000 times that of the driver himself) or its speed… In terms of translating energy into transportation, there is nothing, neither animal nor mechanical, that is superior to a human being on a bicycle…”

    -Kirkpatrick Sale, “Human Scale” (London: Secker & Warburg,1980)

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    stephen salter November 9, 2015 at 9:27 am

    clearly defines a bicycle as a vulnerable road user:

    801.608 Defines the term “vulnerable user of a public way”
    to mean a pedestrian, a highway worker, a person riding an animal or a person operating any
    of the following on a public way, crosswalk or shoulder of the highway:
    (1) A farm tractor or implement of husbandry.
    (2) A skateboard.
    (3) Roller skates.
    (4) In-line skates.
    (5) A scooter.
    (6) A bicycle.

    811.135. (1) A person commits the offense of careless driving if: the person drives any vehicle upon a highway or other premises described in this section in a manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property.

    (3) In addition to any other penalty imposed for an offense committed under this section, if the court determines that the commission of the offense described in this section contributed to the serious physical injury or death of a vulnerable user of a public way, the court shall…

    how is there any possible way this statute was not enforced? do we need a new D.A.? the statute does not let the driver off the hook because they choked, or didnt do it on purpose or anything like that…i dont understand…

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      El Biciclero November 9, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      I, too, fail to understand why hitting a VRU who had the right-of-way and was otherwise operating legally, is not prima facie evidence of careless driving. Does not the fact that one’s manner of driving did result in death or serious injury prove that that same manner of driving was likely to cause such an outcome?

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        Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 9, 2015 at 1:27 pm

        Who had the right of way was never determined in this case and based on the evidence the DA did not think they could prove that Friedow drove, ” in a manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property.”

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          Ted Timmons (Contributor) November 9, 2015 at 1:30 pm

          So, uh, why do we even have VRU laws that are unenforceable?

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            Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 9, 2015 at 1:32 pm

            they’re not unenforceable. The Careless with VRU law has been applied a number of times in Oregon. It just didn’t fit in this case, according to Police and DA.

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    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 9, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Just posted a new story about this case. Hope it sheds more light on many of the questions here – http://bikeportland.org/2015/11/09/why-jolene-friedow-only-got-a-traffic-ticket-in-the-collision-that-killed-mark-angeles-167881

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    clunker November 10, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    I am left wondering if the old “I didn’t see him/her officer” or “he just came out of nowhere” excuse would hold up in court if there were 2 autos involved…probably not…most certainly not.
    Given good (somewhat dry and not dark) driving conditions how is this excuse so readily used as a free pass to run someone over?

    Just to be clear, riding at night or low light is another story entirely, one needs to really stand out and be lit up and reflective. As much as it impedes your cycling progress, when visibility is not great, yield to auto drivers at all junctures that might be used to their advantage to flatten you and simply drive off…because they have and they will continue to do so.

    Im sad for this young man and his family.

    Even if he proceeded through a yellow (I am not condoning it) I still don’t think its entirely his/cyclist fault. For gods sake, auto drivers are basically in command of a deadly weapon weighing thousands of pounds. How is it that an auto driver can “swing” that weapon in any direction knowing that their insurance will cover any errors and always blame someone else for the bad outcome of a collision?

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      oregon111 November 10, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      it is entirely believable that the driver did not see him when she started her turn, and then was watching for pedestrians while she completed the turn

      the real question is : why did the biker not see the car turning when he was looking straight ahead at it?

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    oregon111 November 10, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    was Mark drug tested to see if he had any drugs or alcohol in his system?

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