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Police say man was under the influence, “veered” out of bike lane before collision on SE 122nd

Posted by on June 23rd, 2017 at 1:30 pm

“Omar veered out of the bike lane and collided with Duffus’ vehicle causing him to crash.”
— Portland Police Bureau

Here’s something you don’t see every day: Both people involved in Wednesday’s critical injury collision on SE 122nd Avenue appear to have been operating their vehicles illegaly.

According to an update just released by the Portland Police Bureau, the collision involved 35-year-old named Abdikadir Ahmed Omar and 33-year-old Nicolette Ivy Duffus. Omar was riding his bicycle southbound on 122nd Avenue approaching Division when police say he, “Veered out of the bike lane and collided with Duffus’ vehicle causing him to crash.”

This use of the word “veer” is interesting. It’s legal in Oregon to leave a bike lane due to a hazard in the roadway and for other reasons. Given Omar’s current physical state, it’s doubtful the police have been able to question him about the incident. Therefore the “veer” allegation most likely comes from Duffus’ perspective and/or that of witnesses — none of whom are likely to appreciate a cycling perspective. “Veer” is a very judgmental word and it creates a perception of blame in a case where clearly the investigation isn’t complete. I also mention this because I read a lot of police statements about motor vehicle crashes and whenever someone crosses over the centerline or drives off the road, the police say that it was done, “for an unknown reason” — which is a much more neutral and fair thing to say compared to “veered out of their lane into oncoming traffic.”

The PPB also notes that Omar was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and that he remains in the hospital in serious condition with head injuries. (Note: Adults are not required to wear helmets in Oregon.) The PPB also found that Omar was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision. Omar was not cited for any violations at the scene; but PPB says he might receive criminal punishment or traffic citations once their investigation is complete.

The driver in the case remained at the scene. She was given three traffic citations for: Driving While Suspended, Driving Uninsured, and Failure to Register a Vehicle.

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This was one of three serious injury collisions involving vulnerable road users that happened in east Portland this week.

Early Tuesday morning a 70-year-old woman with a walking device was hit while in the crosswalk at SE 122nd and Division. She’s expected to survive her injuries and the man who hit her has been arrested after he fled the scene following the crash. Then on Thursday, 26-year-old Erin Brenneman was hit while crossing walking across SE Pine at 80th. She remains in the hospital with life-threatening injuries. The person who hit Brenneman with their car fled the scene and has not been found.

Correction: I initially reported that the man who was riding the bicycle was “drunk” when the police only said he was “under the influence of alcohol”. I should not have used the word drunk. I regret the error.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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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

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Teddy
Guest
Teddy

I hope whoever hit Erin Brenneman is found.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

How does that happen in a busy area in broad daylight and no one even gets a description of the vehicle? No one followed them and got a plate? What the heck?

The driver in the car/bicycle crash sounds like a real doofus.

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

Naw, people are too busy staring at their phones.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

80th & Pine is a residential area north of the busy part of Stark, but isn’t itself at all busy. Lots of parked cars, and cars looking for parking, maybe, but hardly busy.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

What a surprise, DUII with a suspended license and no insurance. Here’s your citation ma’am, and don’t let us catch you again or we’ll write you another citation.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

I didn’t read where she was driving under the influence. The article only mentions citations for suspended license, uninsured, and unregistered vehicle.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

There aren’t many ways to get a suspended license, in practice, other than DUII. Worse yet, Oregon is unusual in that it allows a free pass for the first DUII each decade. I don’t think you get to a license suspension until the third conviction (assuming the first one was wiped, so it’s officially the second). Worse yet, it’s almost automatic that one can get permission to drive to work and shopping (of course stores are literally everywhere), so even when one gets suspended almost all driving is permitted.

We definitely need some serious reform of our drunk driving laws and penalties. A reasonable first step is to get rid of the free pass on the first DUII, followed by completely removing the waiver that allows suspended drivers to drive at all. Add in a confiscation requirement for those who ignore their suspension and we just might reduce some of this needless CARnage. We also need to make all unlawful actions committed while intoxicated by a person with a prior DUII be automatically considered to be pre-meditated; DA’s in SoCal are successfully prosecuting repeat drunk drivers for murder when they subsequently kill while driving drunk.

That’s my most reasonable take on this. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind putting first offender drunk drivers into salt mines for a decade.

monkeysee
Guest
monkeysee

Suspension can also be done for non payment of minor infraction. It isn’t always due to horrific issues. I learned this recently myself, as I had my first speeding ticket in some 16 years or so.

Spiffy
Subscriber

my license was suspended for getting in a crash with no insurance…

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Whatever reform happens to DUI law needs to be at least matched by hit-and-run (as in, hit-and-run includes automatic admission of guilt for DUI + additional penalty.)

Big Knobbies
Guest
Big Knobbies

EL,
OK, in that case, what punishment would you give the “drunk” cyclist in this case?
BK 6/24/2017 3:10 pm Pacific

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Something proportional to the damage caused to others would seem logical.

Stephen Keller
Guest
Stephen Keller

Unpaid fines for more than four (I think) can earn a suspension.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I don’t really care what the cause of the suspension is. Suspended is suspended. There’s no ‘sort of suspended’.

If you hit somebody while driving without insurance or a valid license, I think you should be held 100% liable.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Liable for the damage you cause, certainly, and I think this is how the law currently works. If you have insurance, the insurance company assumes some of your financial liability. If you do not, you bear it all.

Further, you should be deemed guilty of driving without license/insurance, and should have your vehicle impounded until your suspension is over. But guilty of being at fault for the crash? Not unless the facts warrant that conclusion.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Just my opinion, and I don’t expect others to agree with me. But I think if you’ve been essentially told by the courts not to drive, then you should be held 100% accountable for whatever happens when you do.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

That would lead to ridiculous outcomes.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Like, for example, being responsible if an incoming drunk driver veered into your lane and killed you. Suicide?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Yes.

Simple solution: When you’ve been ordered not to drive, don’t do it.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Agreed; but assigning blame where there is none is unjust.

monkeysee
Guest
monkeysee

Late payment on arranged plan may also. Each 30 day suspension comes with fine compounding, and 75dollar fee to reapply. It can be a simple and small as this.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Sorry, cite me for “Failure to Read”.

Dead Salmon
Guest
Dead Salmon

R,
You are correct, it doesn’t say she was under the influence. That’s a good thing.

jeff
Guest
jeff

oh, so the bikeportland mob can’t blame the infrastructure or ‘cager’s on this one? is that what you’re saying?

jh
Guest
jh

She shouldn’t have been driving.

Neither should he.

jeff
Guest
jeff

what does that have to do with anything? riding your bike drunk is illegal (and really stupid) too.

jh
Guest
jh

It is.

And riding while uninsured without a license is also illegal and really stupid. Thus my statement. She shouldn’t have been driving. Neither should he. They’re both morons.

Dead Salmon
Guest
Dead Salmon

I’d have to have more facts about her in order to judge her to be a moron.

a.a.ron
Guest
a.a.ron

Can we REALLY know that the man was drunk? This is taking the notoriously racist PPB at their word in a crash where they noted Omar (a brown man with a “middle-east” sounding name) “veered” out of his lane, also an allegation they have not verified with Omar.

monkeysee
Guest
monkeysee

Oh, please.
Can we REALLY know that the officer on scene wasn’t a brown person as well? …
this is the most ridiculous comment on this thread.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

You’re saying minority police officers can’t be prejudiced?

monkeysee
Guest
monkeysee

13 arrests and 27 police harrasment filings leave me with a far better perspective on cops than you I’m sure. Your strawman argument missed the point.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

What IS your point?

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Your comments only hold water if you assume that she was a perfect driver, and that, had she not been driving, someone else would have hit this guy as he was riding unsafely. Given that she was driving with a suspended license and no insurance, you may want to reconsider your assumptions.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

From the look of that narrow door-zone bike lane that morphs into a shared right turn lane, it is entirely possible, I’d even say likely, that the poor infrastructure played a role in the cyclist appearing to veer. He may well have been riding relatively normally and simply moved a foot left in that narrow space.

Bear in mind that I’m certainly not one of the majority here who supports extensive separated facilities. I also don’t care for the shoe-horn approach taken by PBoT.

Spiffy
Subscriber

why shouldn’t we be able to bike home drunk safely? they’ve enable us to drive home drunk with our own safety barely at risk…

if we had proper separation on 122nd, which there is a TON of room for, then this couldn’t happen easily like it can now…

jeff
Guest
jeff

its illegal. take it up your your legislature. its also pretty stupid…for the reasons you see here. was this guy barely at risk? how much ‘barely’ does it take to end up in the hospital?

jeff
Guest
jeff

she didn’t cause the collision. he did.

DAN
Guest
DAN

If we accept the police statement as accurate. How do they know he veered out of the bike lane?

jeff
Guest
jeff

I ride sober. I can stay in a bike lane pretty easily.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Even when the bike lane is 4 feet wide and full of glass?

jeff
Guest
jeff

if there’s glass, I look behind me and double check that my ass will be safe in moving over 18″ to avoid it.

dave
Guest
dave

Yup.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Okay sober Jeff, I’ll open the car door as you approach and let’s see you stay in that four-foot bike lane. Bonus points if you stay upright. I’d bet that if I even cracked it a bit you would find yourself no longer in the bike lane, at least if you have normal reactions.

There are many reasons that someone on a bike might not ride a perfectly true line and might need more than nine inches of adjustment space, I just picked an obvious one. I think this collision happened at dusk or just after, when it is much harder to see road defects and hazards, so even a stone could have been the cause of the wobble.

jeff
Guest
jeff

easy. I’ve (easily) missed doorings more times than I can count. but your fun scenario has little to do with this story or the apparent fact a drunk cyclist swerved in front of a moving car…

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Allegedly.

wsbob
Guest

“Okay sober Jeff, I’ll open the car door as you approach and let’s see you stay in that four-foot bike lane. Bonus points if you stay upright. I’d bet that if I even cracked it a bit you would find yourself no longer in the bike lane, at least if you have normal reactions.

There are many reasons that someone on a bike might not ride a perfectly true line and might need more than nine inches of adjustment space, I just picked an obvious one. I think this collision happened at dusk or just after, when it is much harder to see road defects and hazards, so even a stone could have been the cause of the wobble.” b carfree

First of all, don’t ride in the door zone, at all. Doesn’t matter if the 4′ or whatever width bike lane is directly adjacent to the parking lane, and an opening vehicle door would span most of or all of the bike lane: Don’t ride in the door zone at all. Unless no motor vehicle is parked in the parking lane for some distance, like 50′, 75′ or more. In that circumstance, riding right down the center of the bike lane may be safe, if it’s not filled with a lot of the usual road junk.

Use the main lane if there’s one directly adjacent to the bike lane, right down the center if there’s no traffic approaching from the rear, or waiting to pass. Move to the right side of, and try to maintain a steady lane of travel in the main lane until traffic from the rear can safely pass.

At the risk of quibbling over words referring to movement on a bike or other vehicles diverting from an almost perfect straight line of travel, I believe a ‘veer’ involves much more movement away from the straight line of travel than does a ‘wobble’ or slight wavering back and forth. It doesn’t require a lot of skill to keep a bike moving on a generally straight line without wobbling or wavering beyond a 12″ width. Even less for people with some practice and experience. Unless they’re first learning to ride a bike, have a disability affecting balance, or are drunk or otherwise intoxicated.

Wobbling to get around stones and other road junk is ok, as long as its apparent the general straight line of travel is being maintained. Veering from the bike lane into the main lane without sufficient signaling, isn’t ok.

Andrea Capp
Subscriber
Andrea Capp

I saw a rider crash whose actions would have been described as veering. His bike chain malfunctioned causing him to veer and crash. Had someone in a car hit him I doubt anyone would have assumed it was a bike malfunction especially if the bike was damaged by the car. We may never know what happened from Omar’s perspective. As I understand it, head injuries often lead to memory loss of incidents prior to injury.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Whether or not the reason is legit (i.e. the cyclist had any reasonable control/alternative), there is still such a thing as swerving so suddenly at the wrong time that there is nothing a driver could do.

I once had a front rim explode when riding along Highway 99 — this makes your wheel instantly stop turning. Had this caused a fall that dropped me in front of traffic, it wouldn’t be a sign of bad driving if I were hit.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Unless the driver had zero business being behind the wheel in the first place.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

You’ve exactly described the scenario described in our safe passing distance law (which unfortunately has too many exceptions for bike lanes and slower speeds.) https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.065

So, yes that would be bad driving.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Exception from Section (B) would have applied here since speed limit is 55.

In any case, there are reasonable limits to what can be done

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Kyle, are we reading the same ORS 811.065? I see the exception under section B as referring to speeds under 35 mph, not over 55 mph. This law came into existence because of a death on a roadway with a 55 mph speed limit.

Of course this is for discussion purposes only, since I have never heard of anyone receiving a citation for violating this law, even when they run a cyclist over.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“there are reasonable limits to what can be done”

Classic case of Car-head creeping into the conversation.

Big Knobbies
Guest
Big Knobbies

9,
Nope, just reality. If ANYTHING veers suddenly in front of a moving car it has a good chance of being hit. Laws of physics.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“Nope, just reality.”

The relevant question here isn’t whether an entitled or distracted or speeding driver will hit and kill you if you veer into her path, surely, but rather who is responsible for avoiding that situation. This matter is handled differently in different countries, so there is no need to invoke physics so glibly, since physics presumably don’t differ on two sides of a political boundary.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Naturalizing speeding to the extent that anyone else (typically not in a car) must skedaddle or get what they have coming is the essence of Car-head.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If you take an action, be it leaving a bike lane, stepping into a lane of (bike or car) traffic, or turning your car into another lane, without providing adequate notice and/or response time, you are generally responsible for any mayhem that ensues. That’s pretty established, and seems reasonable.

Big Knobbies
Guest
Big Knobbies

HK,
You are correct. Ask the hundreds of thousands of dead folks who are dead because one car (maybe their own car) went into the path of another car – they would agree.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

Carfree, I understand the law to apply on the slower roads even if it was instigated by someone who was hit on a highway. Laws are weird.

In any case, if you ride along the side of a two lane highway, you can’t swerve out into traffic. If traffic is moving at 60mph and you swerve out when a car is 100 feet behind, it will barely take a second for the car to reach you. No car can stop that fast, doing anything in time will be tough, and if they can, they can only go into oncoming traffic or obstacles by the side of the road. If they’re closer, options will be worse.

Fast busy roads are dangerous, but not for the reasons people here seem to believe. The things I personally worry about when I’m on two lane highways are things like trucks hauling trusses or construction equipment that hangs way over the side or even normal people hauling junk that sticks way out.

Mike 2
Guest
Mike 2

So their equipment was not properly maintained.

wsbob
Guest

“…If we accept the police statement as accurate. How do they know he veered out of the bike lane? …” dan

That’s a fair question, and this being a collision with very serious consequences, I believe the police will be required to conduct a more thorough investigation accompanied by a detailed report, in which there may be explanation about how they came to understand that the person riding veered out of the bike lane, if that is in fact what he did.

“…Also, he’s unconscious so we haven’t heard his account as to what happened yet. …” lascurettes

When he’s recovered, if he is able to enough to mentally function and remember some about what happened, details he can provide, could help to confirm if and how he left the bike lane.

Some bike lanes are narrow, some roads don’t even have bike lanes, but still with precautions taken, they can be ridden relatively safely. A 4′ bike lane is skimping on sufficient room to safely ride a bike in the bike lane, especially if there’s a parking lane directly adjacent to the bike lane.

Personally, my way of riding the bike lane in the situation represented by this road’s lane configuration, would be to ride the white line differentiating bike lane from main lane. With a little practice( it helps to not be intoxicated.), it’s not too difficult to hold a steady line of travel on this white line outside of the door zone without varying more than about 6″ to either side of the line. Eyes on the road far enough ahead so if there’s a stick or some other kind of big hazard that requires leaving the bike lane to avoid hitting it, there’s enough time to: quick look back for oncoming traffic, arm up to signal for a few seconds, and then if clear of traffic, leave the bike lane for the main lane to divert around the hazard.

jeff
Guest
jeff

no bike lane is big enough for a drunk moron on 2 wheels…

9watts
Guest
9watts

No bike blog is big enough for an idealogue with a keyboard.

monkeysee
Guest
monkeysee

My idea of our civilization is that it is a shoddy, poor thing and full of cruelties, vanities, arrogances, meannesses and hypocrisies.
Mark Twain

9watts
Guest
9watts

I think that is about right.

Big Knobbies
Guest
Big Knobbies

Life is unfair and many times cruel. That’s just the way it is – always has been – in the past it was far more cruel in some ways than today. Some folks are rich, beautiful, born into wealth, etc, and some folks aren’t so lucky. That’s life. I’m not jealous of those lucky ones, but I do buy lottery tickets in the hope of catching up. 🙂

It seems that a difference between liberals and conservatives is that conservatives want everyone to have equal opportunities, but understand that we will not all have equal outcomes; and liberals seem to want everyone to have equal outcomes – many times given to them by big government – and that doesn’t work – eventually you run out of other peoples money to pay for all the give-aways.

wsbob
Guest

If you feel that riding the line differentiating bike lane from main lane…the lines are only about 4″ wide, of a 4′ wide bike lane leaves you in the door zone where cars are parked in the adjacent parking lane…then DON’T ride in the bike lane. I hate to use all caps to make a point, but it’s important for everyone riding to understand clearly that Oregon statute 814.420 does not oblige people riding bikes to ride into hazardous conditions present in the bike lane. Do your job as a safe road user. Watch for hazards, always, to be prepared as much in advance as possible, to allow for checking for traffic, signaling and leaving the bike lane for the main lane to avoid hazards in the bike lane.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

What a great day (in the face of tragedy). You and I are in agreement that no one should ever ride in the door zone. I’ve had my share of angry reactions, but considering the number of times doors have unexpectedly burst open over the entire width of the bike lane as I passed, I’m only here because I don’t ride there. Sadly, the great majority of people on bikes choose to ride there; most of them eventually win a door prize of varying severity.

I did have one interesting encounter while riding in the travel lane adjacent to a door-zone bike lane. A pick-up honked at me. I pointed at the parked cars. When I had cleared them, he drove up next to me and rolled his window down. (Boy, was I glad I hadn’t made any rude gestures since his young son was in the passenger seat.) He asked “Why?” and I told him about the hazard of the door zone. He thanked me for the information and we parted with smiles and waves.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

There wouldn’t have been a collision if she hadn’t been driving, and she was already told not to. Why are you giving her a pass?

Dead Salmon
Guest
Dead Salmon

He’s merely stating a fact – based on what we know as of now it was the cyclists fault. Even if the cyclist eventually tells his side and it’s different it will be his word against hers unless there is more evidence such as video, etc.
She will get whatever punishment is due for driving suspended according to Oregon law. She may have been suspended unfairly – we have no idea.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Suspended unfairly? Even if true, it’s entirely irrelevant. If you get sentenced to jail time unfairly you still have to go to jail.

And aside from that, what prevented her from buying insurance or registering the vehicle?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

What we know now is that a driver w/o a license, insurance, or registration collided with someone on a bike, who the police believe had alcohol in their system. We know for certain that the driver is at fault for at least 3 things. Everything else is conjecture.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Bingo!

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Indeed. What we don’t know is if those violations had anything to do with the collision.

Really?
Guest
Really?

Just remember your outrage at this and your “the law is the law” argument, when you try to justify rolling stop signs and running lights on your bike in future posts.

The hypocrisy will flow.

jeff
Guest
jeff

why are you giving the cyclist a pass? being sober goes a looooong way to stay alive on our roads…

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I’m not. All we really know at this point is that an unlicensed and uninsured driver in an unregistered vehicle hit a cyclist from behind, a cyclist who had some alcohol in his system (how much? we don’t know). Based on those facts, you’ve done nothing so far but blame the cyclist.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

We do not know that hitting the cyclist from behind is an accurate description. There is a big difference between hitting a cyclist from behind, hitting a cyclist that entered the traffic lane, and hitting a cyclist who suddenly veered out. The investigation may or may not clarify what happened.

Big Knobbies
Guest
Big Knobbies

Are you calling Jonathan Maus a liar? He said in the title of the article that the cyclist was “drunk”. So, unless JM is lying, we do know that he had quite a bit of alcohol in his system.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Your reading comprehension is even worse than mine.

Big Knobbies
Guest
Big Knobbies

Now THAT’S saying something!

🙂

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I don’t see any connection between the level of intoxication of the cyclist and the honesty of Jonathan.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Yeah, he’s reporting on the officer’s statement.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“being sober goes a looooong way to stay alive on our roads…”

really?
how do you explain then that the majority of people on foot or on a bike who were injured or killed by those in cars are sober?

Big Knobbies
Guest
Big Knobbies

It is because a huge majority of bike riders are sober when they ride. Occasionally one of them will get hit. So, most riders who are hit are sober.
It is likely that a much higher percentage of drunk riders will be hurt one way or another; fortunately drunk riders are probably the exception.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

She absolutely should not get a pass, but it is impossible to attribute this crash to her mere existence.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Her mere existence behind the wheel was illegal.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Unquestionably.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

This could have happened to any legal driver as well. If it wasn’t her, it could have just as easily been someone else. As HK stated, while she shouldn’t have been on the road, it still might not have been the driver’s fault.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

At least she stopped.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Yes, we’ve really come to the point where a motorist who stops after being in a collision is noteworthy. I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry.

Big Knobbies
Guest
Big Knobbies

Why not just say, “Thank You for stopping at the scene of the accident even though you were driving suspended”?

Haram
Guest
Haram

Drinking is sinful.

monkeysee
Guest
monkeysee

So we can’t even reply to this on jest? My comment was moderated?

monkeysee
Guest
monkeysee

In your opinion….. I along with the majority of people on the planet do not see it that way. I’m gonna go pour a double right now. Furthermore, this statement of yours could be interpreted as victim blaming, if I were wishing to play devils advocate.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Sometimes ‘victims’ end up in scenarios that are a result of their own poor judgment.

I’m not going to jump into a big cat enclosure any time soon. I might be a ‘victim’ of a tiger attack.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Just not, lest ye be judged.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Like be judged doofus?

monkeysee
Guest
monkeysee

I’m not sweating it. Not now. Not ever.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

You haven’t been outside today?

monkeysee
Guest
monkeysee

🙂

emerson
Subscriber

jeff
I ride sober. I can stay in a bike lane pretty easily.
Recommended 1

Aren’t you special.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

It sounds like PPB is taking lessons in bicycle crash report writing from NYPD.

Big Knobbies
Guest
Big Knobbies

It sounds to me like JM of BP is taking lessons in bicycle crash report writing from the Huffington Puffington Post.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Now I really want to know why the driver wasn’t riding a bike, since she wasn’t legal to drive.
https://bikeportland.org/2017/06/21/a-bicycle-rider-has-been-hit-and-critically-injured-on-se-122nd-north-of-division-232361#comment-6810404

His not having chosen to wear a helmet would be a pertinent fact if someone can point to a large difference of helmet use vs not between fatally/critically struck cyclists and the riding population.

Did the car have external airbags?

Big Knobbies
Guest
Big Knobbies

In some cases, if a helmet had been worn, it may have saved the cyclists life. That’s a big difference in each of those cases. Living. Dead. See the difference?

MCyclist
Guest
MCyclist

Here is a study cited by the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute – helmets.org. The sample size is fairly large and the reduction in injury severity is pretty striking.

Statistics from the American Journal of Surgery, 2016

Of 6,267 patients included in the study, 25.1% were helmeted. Overall 52.4% had severe TBI, and the mortality rate was 2.8%. Helmeted bicycle riders had 51% reduced odds of severe TBI and 44% reduced odds of mortality. Helmet use also reduced the odds of facial fractures by 31%. Conclusion: Bicycle helmet use provides protection against severe TBI, reduces facial fractures, and saves lives even after sustaining an intracranial hemorrhage.

An interesting follow-up question for JM to ask the PPD is why exactly do they record whether a cyclist involved in a crash was or was not wearing a helmet? It very well may be for statistical documentation to be used in future analysis like that presented above.

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

The police should record and report helmet use. They should also record and report use of lights. I suppose clothing color and reflectivity is too subjective to record and report.

This is necessary to enable studies such as the one cited.

I recognize this upsets people who feel that helmet usage should not be encouraged, or who think helmet usage should be reported only if relevant to the injuries sustained. I’d suggest that publicly available data should not be censored to serve one group’s ideological beliefs.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I’d like to see lots more information recorded and reported. I’d like to know about turn signal usage, estimated speed of the car, police-estimated safe driving speed for the specific conditions at the time of collision based on the basic speed rule, phone usage, other occupants in the car, window tinting or other modifications, etc etc.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Jonathan,
Can you clarify again the collision pattern.
The first description appears to say the two involved were going the same direction, while “veered out of their lane into oncoming traffic.” is a completely different scenario.
Oncoming implies opposite direction, not shared bike through and right turn only lane.
Details matter.

monkeysee
Guest
monkeysee

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/news/read.cfm?id=68226&ec=2
The updated report states they were both traveling south. The update also reports the cyclist was determined to be under the influence of alcohol. No mention of toxicity.

Big Knobbies
Guest
Big Knobbies

Apparently, Paris Hilton was sent to jail for driving with no license:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAT_nY0n9P0

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

9watts
[…] I suppose this is yet another example of an empty law just like the VRU which appears to be unknown to—and therefore not enforced by—police and the rest of the system.

And the basic speed rule.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Right.

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

In the context of your discussion with HK upthread, you said “Well it is clearly both [law and enforcement].” Among the basic speed rule, safe passing distance, VRU, etc, our laws are not that far from northern EU strict liability laws, so that leaves enforcement. I don’t disagree but I’ll suggest that there is another, greater factor: collective consciousness, a mass social view of how we all act. That, in turn, informs how we interpret and enforce laws, and even the laws we make. In my experience –
reinforced earlier this month – Dutch drivers aren’t especially more beholden to laws or courts than we are so much as they are enculturated to drive as if they, themselves, were pedestrians or cyclists. Of course, they often are.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Yes, a far better response than mine. Thank you, Alan.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

It’s so basic they don’t even have to enforce it!

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

It’s also essentially unenforceable, except, perhaps, in extreme situations.

It’s hard enough when you have an objective law with clear boundaries. It’s something else altogether when the rules depend on some combination of conditions, vehicle, driver, and the potentially differing judgments of the driver, ticketing officer, and courts.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Really? 1mph over the posted limit would qualify. Let’s start there.

“Any speed in excess of a designated speed posted by authority granted under ORS 810.180 (Designation of maximum speeds) is prima facie evidence of violation of the basic speed rule under ORS 811.100 (Violation of basic speed rule).”

If the basic speed rule is “essentially unenforceable”, you may as well throw out “Duty to exercise due care”, “Impeding traffic”, “Careless driving”, “Reckless driving”, “Reckless endangerment of highway workers”, “Dangerous left turn”, “Unsafe passing on the left”, “Following too closely”, etc.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Yes, I would start there.

What all those things you cited have in common is they are easy calls to make when the violation is extreme or egregious. Extreme violations of the basic speed law would likewise be easy to call.

Away from the extremes, most of those laws are unenforceable, and hinge on judgement calls that are very difficult to judge after-the-fact.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

If you are traveling 1mph over the speed limit in the dark or in the rain and you hit somebody, is it not obvious? Why do we need extreme examples in order to enforce this law?

9watts
Guest
9watts

Not to mention that posted speed limits are intended to serve as an upper limit in broad daylight. My understanding of the Basic Speed Rule is that it comes into play in all or potentially all situations that diverge for innumerable reasons from the straight shot, broad daylight situation.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

No, it’s not obvious without knowing the circumstances.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

>>> posted speed limits are intended to serve as an upper limit in broad daylight <<<

Perhaps true, but it is not how they are recognized. They are generally taken to mean "drive at this speed." Everybody, including those who set the speeds, understands this.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Of course, but this kind of slippage, bias, asymmetric-generosity-with-consequences is the essence of what some folks refer to as Car-Head.
Believe me, I wish this matter didn’t keep coming up with such frequency.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Again, the law says this:

“Any speed in excess of a designated speed posted by authority granted under ORS 810.180 (Designation of maximum speeds) is prima facie evidence of violation of the basic speed rule under ORS 811.100 (Violation of basic speed rule).”

You’re trying to argue that the law can’t be enforced, but the truth is that it won’t be enforced. I am aware of the distinction.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Now I see where my confusion comes from. 810.180 (2)(b) includes only the least restrictive (prima facie) conditions that constitute a violation of the BSR. The statute itself, taken as a whole: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.100 is considerably more restrictive, and aligns with what I thought I remembered about it.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I’m arguing it can’t, but it may also be true that it won’t. In the case you cited, going over the posted speed limit, that is enforceable. That the police choose not to enforce it is a different issue completely.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Yes, 9watts, the full statute is more restrictive. I’m responding to HK’s statement above, which is simply not true:

“It’s also essentially unenforceable, except, perhaps, in extreme situations.”

Most people would not consider going 1mph over the speed limit “extreme”, and yet we have the ability to invoke the basic speed rule in crashes where the driver has gone 1mph over the speed limit. The problem is that we DON’T.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Yes. We agree.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Going 36MPH in a 35MPH zone is not extreme speeding. Which is probably why most people don’t consider it as such.

9watts
Guest
9watts

I give up

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Dan A, I realize I misunderstood your comment, which was that 36 is an example of a non-extreme but enforceable violation of the basic speed law. And I agree with that. My earlier comments were really intended to apply to the parts that require subjective judgement about what is too fast.

Big Knobbies
Guest
Big Knobbies

If you hit someone in the dark going 1 mph over the limit, who would know? Even if you don’t hit someone and a cop gets you on radar going 1 mph over it would not stand up in court. The law has to have some reasonableness about it. It is unreasonable to expect a car speedometer to be accurate to within 1 mph and in court you could make the cop prove that his gun was accurate on the particular day to within 1 mph. He could not prove it and you’d be found not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“when the rules depend on some combination of conditions, vehicle, driver, and the potentially differing judgments of the driver, ticketing officer, and courts.”

Take Frank Bohannon killing Kerry Kunsman. The authorities went out of their way to say ‘speed had nothing to do with this,’ when the circumstances pretty obviously constituted a case of Basic Speed rule violation.
I challenge anyone to articulate, explain, defend their perspective that this was not so. I don’t think the problem is that the Basic Speed Rule is unenforceable but rather that enforcing it is incompatible with a Car-head stance that instantiates immunity for a variety of demonstrably dangerous and illegal (that have been allowed to become common) behaviors by those in cars.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

What is a safe speed for me to travel on Powell when the roads are wet, in my car, with my tires, using my driving experience, and given my current state of alertness? Or is it just a case of “I know it when I see it”?

9watts
Guest
9watts

I think you are exactly right – if you hit or kill someone under those conditions then, well, it seems pretty obvious that you were violating the Basic Speed Rule, or not paying sufficient attention or some of both. Does it need to be any more complicated than this?

9watts
The “Ignorance is Bliss” Defense (bicycling.com)
http://bit.ly/wvrs06
“You’re supposed to be able to see what’s on the road in front of you and you should only proceed when it’s safe to do so,” Outagamie County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Jobe said. “When you run into another vehicle or in this case, a bicycle you should have seen, then obviously it’s our view that the only reason you didn’t see it was because you weren’t paying attention.”
Recommended 32

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Again, it depends on the circumstances.

9watts
Guest
9watts

No.
You’re confusing the evident commission of a crime/violation of a law (driving particulars leading to the death or maiming of someone else), with the legal challenges of parsing exactly what combination of behaviors to identify as causal, as specific violations. Hiding behind the latter as a way to shrug at the former though familiar enough is completely unacceptable.

Other jurisdictions have somehow managed to set up a system that does not take this cavalier, circular, callous approach to the subject.

9watts
Guest
9watts
Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

You’ve already concluded that the motorist was at fault, otherwise how do you know the driver’s “crime” “led to” the death of another party? I think you need to actually look at what happened to determine if there was any causality.

There are some places where if a foreigner is involved in a collision, they are automatically deemed at fault because if they hadn’t chosen to come to the country, there would have been no collision.

I’m glad we don’t live in a place like that.

9watts
Guest
9watts

You seem to have already concluded that we have no idea how these situations come about, what could be done to avoid them.

But we live in a society where justice is tilted sooooo far in the other direction (see http://www.komanoff.net/cars_I/KBA_entire_2015.pdf ) that it seems hardly credible to act so clueless, like we have no idea overall how this comes about. Of course it is good to investigate each case, but where those investigations have been undertaken (without bias as far as that is possible) the findings overwhelmingly point to the pilot of the auto as culpable.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If a car strikes a pedestrian, and no further information is available, I can make a statistical inference about what might have happened, but it would be impossible to assign blame or determine what really did happen in this particular case.

9watts
Guest
9watts

this is silly and not all that interesting.

a donkey and a pedestrian,
a cyclist and a skateboarder
a wheelchair user and a pedestrian
a stilt walker and a toddler
I’d submit the chances of any of these pairs resulting in a death if they should make contact is very nearly zero. Should a death nevertheless occur, wouldn’t you agree that the heavier, faster of the two would be where we’d start?

And if you substitute an auto for any one of the halves in the above pairs the statistics change, dramatically. Does this tell us anything at all about fault probabilities? Distribution of responsibility?

You have a tendency to jump to a we can’t possibly make any inference, assign fault stance in examples such as these, which strikes me as a way to avoid any sort of constructive engagement. What is your objective? What would you like to see? How do you propose we gain on these problems?
We were talking about enforcing the Basic Speed Rule, as you may recall.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I would start by looking at what happened, and investigating the circumstances before I assigned blame. I think we are just going to have to disagree on that point. I think the facts of what actually occurred are salient to knowing who was at fault.

Sadly, a pedestrian was killed crossing the UPRR tracks at 8th a little over a week ago, struck by two trains. A train is far more powerful than a car, and is controlled by a heavily regulated professional. I presume the engineers were at fault in that case?

9watts
Guest
9watts

In Brian Willson’s* case the engineer was indeed found guilty as I recall because he accelerated toward those sitting on the tracks in full view and with lots of advanced notification. In the situation you describe, and given that the trains typically run on what we might agree to be fixed routes, my hunch is the engineer will not be found guilty. But trains, as you might agree, are really not much like any of the entities in my pairings above. None of those characters typically share any of the same routes/paths/grades so the argument about relative mass, passing maneuvers, etc. doesn’t really apply.

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Willson

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Again, the facts matter. If an engineer deliberately drives his train into a crowd of people, it’s very different than if someone steps in front of it.

The article you linked to mentioned nothing about the engineer being charged with a crime.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

“I would start by looking at what happened, and investigating the circumstances before I assigned blame.”

During your investigation, would you make any attempt to determine a “reasonable and prudent” speed for driving at that time? The law says we must factor in traffic, surface and width of the roadway, hazard at intersections, weather, visibility, other conditions. Seems to me that a determination for a reasonable and prudent speed should be determined in all crashes, before determining the speed of the vehicles involved.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I probably would, yes, especially if adverse conditions were at play.

Big Knobbies
Guest
Big Knobbies

Provide a link and I’ll read the facts of this case.

Big Knobbies
Guest
Big Knobbies

AH HA! Found the link. I remember this one:
https://bikeportland.org/2014/09/20/san-diego-bike-coalition-board-member-critical-condition-rear-end-collision-111212

Doubt the driver was speeding since the legal limit is 55. The advisory speed of 35 is not a legal limit. I’m going to judge that both were at fault. The cyclist was at fault for riding an unsafe road – no 2 ways about it – you ride a road like that and you’re asking for trouble – most cyclists understand this. Anyone know why the cyclist was riding that stretch? You could safely ride it in a group ride with cars/warning signs/pilot vehicles, etc, but not on you own.

I’d say the truck driver should have slowed down so if a cyclist/deer/pedestrian/car were around the curve he could stop before hitting it; however it is possible that he did exactly that and as he rounded the curve the sun came into his eyes and suddenly blinded him and then the thud happened. In the photo with the fire trucks, there’s the blinding sun doing it’s job.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“The cyclist was at fault for riding an unsafe road”

With that attitude we’re going to get nowhere.

Have you paused to ask yourself *why* the road seems unsafe? Is it because it has curves? or because people cycle on it? No, you and others deem it unsafe because people in big trucks have gotten used to driving on it at speeds and with a sense of entitelment that rule out the kind of perspicacity necessary not to hit and kill someone who is on the road but going a different speed. It is this entitlement that is reified by the local authorities, law enforcement, the DA, etc. and which is I think usefully captured by the phrase wspob so vehemently rejects: Car-head.

“Anyone know why the cyclist was riding that stretch? ”

Yes, we do. The authorities advised him—as someone biking through Oregon from out of state—to take this route, just like the Portland biking map advised Martin Greenough to bike on Lombard.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Wow.

wsbob
Guest

“… wspob…” watts

watts…are you referring to me, wsbob, showing disrespect for me by messing with my name? More importantly why does this weblog and its owner-moderator indulge your bad behavior in this respect? When you’re not able to make a solid counterpoint to other people’s perspectives offered which run counter to yours, you resort to bullying behavior including name calling.

Not that I would, but what if I or other people posting comments to this weblog, were to start referring to you by some disrespectful variation of yours or someone else’s name? Would you feel that if this weblog were to allow that kind of behavior, that it would be good policy for civil, intelligent discussion? I suppose I’m resigned to the possibility that bikportland and Maus, the owner-moderator will continue to allow you to indulge in this bullying name-calling behavior of yours which to me seems immature at best.

9watts
Guest
9watts

I’ve already explained my recent spelling of your username has zero to do with disrespect, and is merely so that my replies won’t be hung up in moderation. I am at a loss to understand why you can’t just take my word for that, just as I take your word for the fact that your curious abbreviation of my username is innocent.
And now can we return to talking about something interesting, something about transportation or bikes?

9watts
Guest
9watts
9watts
Guest
9watts

more specific copy on that stretch of highway, from Jonathan at the Kunsman piece you linked to:

“This section of highway is a well-known part of the Oregon Coast Bike Route and it’s on the map of the Oregon Coast published by the Adventure Cycling Association.”