Support BikePortland

Man riding a bicycle dies in collision with truck operator on Highway 30 near Scappoose

Posted by on January 13th, 2019 at 10:39 am


*Photo of the scene via Oregon State Police (Left). Scottie Graser at a ride in 2016.

A man riding his bicycle died yesterday after he was involved in a collision with a truck operator on Highway 30 south Scappoose.

Graser’s Instagram profile pic.

Oregon State Police say around 1:30 pm on Saturday, 40-year-old Dustan Thompson was driving a semi-truck (without a trailer attached) southbound on the highway (toward Portland) in the rightmost lane when he collided with 54-year-old Scottie Graser. Graser was riding in the same direction. The official OSP statement says Graser, “entered the eastbound right lane and a collision occurred.”

This language makes it appear as though Graser left the relatively wide shoulder and put himself into the path of the Thompson’s truck. OSP offered no evidence to support their claim about Graser’s behavior and the investigation is ongoing.

Highway 30 is a very popular bicycling route and it’s known as “Dirty 30” among many in the community due to its debris-filled shoulders.

The crash happened just a few hundred yards north of the turnoff to Rocky Pointe Road (map), a very well-known climb and descent that connects to Skyline Road.

Advertisement

Thompson, the driver, is from St. Helens. Graser was from Scappoose.

According to friends who knew Graser, he was an enthusiastic and dedicated bicycle rider. He was a veteran of many of the marquee organized bike rides in Washington and Oregon. He had ridden the Seattle-to-Portland Classic, Cycle Oregon, Chilly Hilly, the Bike MS Tour de Farms, and many others.

Graser’s friend Daniel Hoyer shared with us via email that he was a, “Nice guy always with a smile and joke.” “He loved to ride long and hard and preferred open country roads to city riding,” Hoyer continued.

Hoyer is skeptical of the OSP version of what happened. “No way he or any other rider would pull into a traffic lane on 30,” he wrote to us. “This is a terrible tragedy.”

Graser worked as a negotiator for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and he married Peggy Grand in October 2018.

I reached out to Grand via Facebook today. “I have no words,” she replied. “I do know he was the most conscientious rider, he understood how little attention drivers paid to cyclists and was always sure he was extra diligent.”

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

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

137
Leave a Reply

avatar
29 Comment threads
108 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
47 Comment authors
Vicky Tate9wattsBjornMartin VandepasDan A Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Horrible. My worst fear when I ride 30.

SE 34th
Guest
SE 34th

I love the things you can reach on a bike from Highway 30 (Saltzman Road, Sauvie Island) but dread the contemplation of my own mortality from hearing the cars and trucks coming up behind me. RIP Scottie.

Marty
Guest
Marty

I was on the bike and pedestrian safety committee for the City of St. Helens…. it was a fun and interesting experience. We reach out to kids to encourage safe riding habits and helmet use. We also pinpointed hazards such as lack of signage, bike lanes, crosswalks, and sidewalks to the City to address.

I’d a like to believe it worked… but in the years since I’ve lost count of how many idiots on bikes and in cars keep doing stupid stuff. What did it for me on US30 is I got hit by a Toyota turning left onto US30 from Millard Rd. I was in the left turn lane on US 30 and on foot when the Toyota struck the back of my bike and pretzled the rear wheel. It was a hit n run, and you would know it.. I left my cellphone at home. At last a stoplight is going in over the number of wrecks there.

What needs to be done is build a bike lane that runs between the highway and the railroad tracks from Sauvies Island to the path that goes to Columbia City from St. Helens. There are frontage roads from Sauvies Iland that follow the Willamette into Portland, but private property owners have much of it fenced off. I’ve ridden from NW Front up to Wacker just to get turned away by security. But wow what a safe refuge for bikes if it can be done!

Given I’m sighted in one eye, US 30 is just too scary… and I’ve ridden bikes for much of my 63 years.

Marty
Guest
Marty

PS- In regard to the accident, it is just that. In my post there is no implying anyone in it was an idiot…

No, that’s those somehow think they are above the law and think they can ride and drive any way they choose. Like riders blasting down sidewalks and cutting across intersections, at night, and drivers who blow stop lights, text and smoke pot and drink while driving… and who have no use for posted speed limits.

As a pedestrian too, walking across Columbia Blvd. or even down my shoulderless street in St Helens is as dangerous at times as waiting for a MAX in downtown Portland.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Like many others, I sure want to know what OSP bases its claim that the cyclist performed a suicide swerve on. Is this yet another single witness suicide swerve case with motorhead investigators? My confidence level isn’t high when they call a bobtail tractor a semi truck minus the semi trailer. Good grief.

For those who haven’t driven trucks, bobtailing is actually rather unstable. With many tractors, it can be extremely difficult to control a bobtail at highway speeds. Most decent trucking outfits go out of their way to reduce or eliminate bobtail miles for this very reason. Considering the experience level of the deceased and the bobtail configuration, I am highly skeptical of the claim that the cyclist is at fault.

soren
Guest
soren

in the absence of undeniable evidence to the contrary., the dead cyclist is almost always at fault.

dash cams on commercial vehicles should be mandatory (among many other things).

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

What prompted you to draw the line between commercial and private vehicles?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Gotta start somewhere. Commercial vehicles already have more stringent regulations — it should be easier to mandate black box technology and/or dash cams on them.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Accidents do happen – cyclist could have hit a bump in the road, or an object, reached for a water bottle, etc. It’s certainly worth following up on, but I’m not sure why we’re so suspicious of the State Police that they would somehow try and blame the cyclist if they weren’t at fault….

Irregardless, it’s a tragedy and condolences to the family.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

history… I think we have all lost count of how many times that we have seen police say that the investigation was not complete, and then immediately make a statement blaming the dead cyclist who is unable to speak to what happened.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

Here is a relevant article about a case in which a truck driver distracted by a cell phone left their lane and killed a cyclist, then told the cops that the cyclist came out in front of him. Seeing story after story like this is largely why when a driver says that the cyclist was at fault and the cyclist is no longer alive to speak that I don’t immediately believe the driver and I do want to see a quality investigation take place: https://www.bikelaw.com/2019/01/death-by-distracted-driving/

9watts
Subscriber

Thanks for that article, Bjorn.
Exhausting but important.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

“I’m not sure why we’re so suspicious of the State Police that they would somehow try and blame the cyclist if they weren’t at fault….”

Because there’s a long history of police blaming vulnerable road users for being run over.

SD
Guest
SD

Because police, all over the country, don’t hesitate to put the driver’s account into the police report without any evidence to support it, and it is not unusual for it to be proven wrong when objective evidence has been discovered.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

My suspicions regarding the OSP stems partially because the law requires that the overtaking bobtail had to have given the cyclist room to fall over towards the truck. That’s a lot of required buffer, so if the cyclist simply hit a bit of a bump or did a bad water bottle grab, he wouldn’t have been struck by a legally passing motor vehicle. Had there been some mention of this, I might have thought they were doing a proper investigation instead of the usual “blame the victim who wasn’t in a cage” that we see all too often.

Maybe a condition of employment for law enforcement should be documented 5-10k annual miles in the saddle on actual roads. I think it would be highly educational for them. (In other fantasies, can we raise the gas tax by a few bucks per gallon and completely automate traffic law enforcement while adding day fines?)

Pete
Guest
Pete

“We’re still investigating and haven’t come to a conclusion yet, but our conclusion is…”

mike
Guest
mike

I rode my bike today on hwy 30 where the accident happened and I’m not so sure Mr. Graser went out of the bike lane at all. I did not notice any skid marks from the truck but you can see what appears where the bike went down, right in the middle of the bike lane! I hope the investigation gets it right!

X
Guest
X

There should absolutely be some marks on the pavement, if the scene is undisturbed and if anyone is looking. This where the preconceived ideas of investigators become important. They won’t see what they’re not looking for, and they’ll see nothing if they are looking in the wrong place.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Maybe vehicles on roads like 30 should have to pull into the left lane when passing a cyclist, just as they do for a stopped emergency vehicle.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

Is it a pass if a cyclist isn’t even in a travel lane?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

While I have no doubt about what happened in this situation, without evidence the driver is not being fully forthcoming, it’s hard to proceed further. This is why, in one our rare (but happy) moments of agreement, I support Soren’s idea for dashcams in commercial vehicles.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Or every cyclist should have to have a Cycliq read camera 🙂

We get into trouble when we require purchases.

SD
Guest
SD

There is a higher burden for professionals and heavy machinery than all road users.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

I’d also argue, that is why professional are usually licensed and certified.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

I’ve got a class A. I easily pass the required medical examination every two years. However, I voluntarily quit driving trucks because I can detect that my skillset isn’t what it used to be and I’m not satisfied that it is adequate to the needs of other road users. Our standards are a joke, but that doesn’t mean we have to aim that low.

q
Guest
q

“I’d also argue, that is why professional are usually licensed and certified.”

I’m thinking of examples of other groups whose work activities are monitored by cameras or similar devices–police officers, airline pilots, train engineers, taxi drivers…all that came to my mind first are professionals who are licensed and certified.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Perhaps in the name of fairness, you can also provide a list of those who are not.

9watts
Subscriber

How about you do that, as a public service?

q
Guest
q

“Perhaps in the name of fairness, you can also provide a list of those who are not.”

Again, what would be the point of that? You made a comment that I understood to mean that the fact that professionals are licensed and certified would be a reason NOT to require their activities to be video-monitored. I said that all the groups of people who are video-monitored at work that I thought of first are professionals who are licensed and certified.

To me, that shows that those who regulate those professions don’t see licensing and certification as a reason not to do require video monitoring. The fact that other professions are not monitored doesn’t change that.

Plus, look at professions that are NOT video monitored–take architects and engineers as an example. They are not doing anything instantly, as are truck drivers or police officers. They do slow, long-term work that is fully documented in drawings, writing, calculations, etc. And then, before any structure they design can be built, all their work is reviewed by plans examiners. If truck drivers sat at desks doing drawings and calculations, then sent those documents to a public agency to review before any action took place, I’d see no need to have them video-monitored, either.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Portland’s city leaders can start by installing this kind of tech in all of the city-owned vehicles, and insisting that it be installed in vehicles owned by companies that they contract with.

q
Guest
q

“We get into trouble when we require purchases.”?

I’d say the opposite is true. As in, “Many of the most effective safety improvements are the result of requiring purchases”.

Drivers are required to purchase horns, headlights, seatbelts….

Boaters are required to purchase life vests.

Contractors are required to purchase hard hats, eye protection and first aid kits.

Building owners are required to purchase fire sprinklers and exit signs.

Restaurants are required to purchase dishwashers capable of heating water to specific temperatures.

Etc.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

I have ridden Hwy 30 to St. Helens dozens of times, in spit of living near Washington square in Beaverton. 4 times I rode it from NW Portland, escorting Hood to coast runners. I always rode in Pink,Yellow, or some very bright colors with a metallic yellow bike.I rode very close to the fog line and continually motioned to drivers to use the inner lane. I also used my rear view mirror (clipped to sunglasses) constantly. Usually the truckers passed the word all the way both directions about the”Crazy pink biker” and 90 % of the trucks all moved over when they were reminded. Occasionally one came within a couple of inches of grazing me (their wheels were on the fog line) when I was passing a power pole about a half mile east of St. Johns bridge but otherwise nearly all of them went to the inner lane . Pickups were something else. somehow or another I dodged them as some of them were 2 foot to the right of the fog line. Some lost their wide mirrors.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Hello Tom, these stories are fascinating, but I have to ask: Are you a real person?

I’m curious about how these trucks lost their mirrors. Did they get knocked off hitting your elbow at 60mph? Did you notice it when it happened?

SD
Guest
SD

Having spent a fair amount of time on dirty thirty, I have seen plenty of trucks drift over the line. On the other hand, I have never seen a person on a bike riding alone go over the line. There are a few tight spots, but this isn’t one of them. Even in groups, no one crosses the line unless there’s a car parked on the shoulder. Unfortunately, it is likely that people without cycling experience will believe without question that a cyclist just rode into a huge loud truck.

Paul B
Guest
Paul B

Same. 30 is how we get to do the fun, challenging climbs in the West Hills on the roads with far less traffic than those closer to the city. The shoulder is typically wide on Highway 30 but having seen the number of vehicles that drift across the shoulder line at high speeds, I am quite mindful to say a couple feet away from the line, which also gives me a chance to navigate safely around any hazards I see. There are occasions where we might have to enter the car lane because of parked cars (BPA Road and Linnton come to mind), but I have never done it without having plenty of time to slow down and check the lane.

I am VERY skeptical that Scottie Graser with his years of experience moved into the lane. Mistakes happen, yes, but…I have doubts and want evidence. Stories like this and so many close calls from distracted drivers are getting me very close to purchasing a Cycliq camera.

X
Guest
X

Is your camera mounted in a really visible way?

Johnny Bye Carter
Subscriber
Johnny Bye Carter

We have enough cheap technology that it should be illegal to operate a commercial vehicle without a dash-mounted camera.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

I have interviewed over a dozen OHP officers in the last several decades and, without exception, Every one of them is and was an anticyclist who espoused a firm belief that cyclists riding on the street “should be outlawed”, and furthermore, the quoted that “if any cyclists were killed by a car in their territory It would and will be the cyclists fault, even if the cyclist was shot”.
I reported the last one and he was transferred from Tilamook highway to east Malhuer county.

X
Guest
X

If you don’t mind saying, how do you come to encounter that many OSP officers?

It seems strange that they would have that kind of attitude about people on bikes. Training, training, training. Oddly, in places like Malheur County people seem to pass well out in the other lane, from way back, as if you were on a horse or something.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

I don’t find it odd. In my experience there’s a wide range of attitudes towards cyclists amongst law enforcement, ranging from avid bike commuters themselves to thinking we don’t belong on the road. I wouldn’t be surprised that as a highway-oriented agency, OSP is going to have officers skewing towards the latter.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

It’s always easier to tell other people that they have to buy something, isn’t it?

q
Guest
q

What’s your point? That cyclists who may get hit by trucks should be required to have cameras to prove they weren’t at fault? If so, then why not people who walk across streets? Or who walk on sidewalks? Or who own buildings next to streets that trucks may veer into?

Of course it’s always easier to place a burden on someone besides yourself, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t appropriate.

9watts
Subscriber

q asks ‘What’s your point?’

I would also like to know.

There is certainly a pattern to many of MotRG’s posts; the reflexive inversions and false equivalencies add up to something, but what?

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Ah yes…when you don’t wish to counter a point, throw in “false equivalency”. That seems to also be a pattern 🙂

9watts
Subscriber

But you presumably agree that there is such a thing?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_equivalence

My pattern of flashing the false equivalence card follows your pattern of proposing them.

9watts
Subscriber

“when you don’t wish to counter a point…”

As I suspect you know well, I’m as happy as anyone to counter any point here on BikePortland. But a false equivalency is not a point, is not something that is meaningfully countered. A false equivalence is not a rhetorical invitation to deeper engagemeant, to refutation, but a move made in (rhetorical) bad faith.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Perhaps you can explain how dangerous operation of a bicycle and a garbage truck are the exact same thing.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Maybe there’s a reason you’re often encountering the false equivalence charge.

Anne
Guest
Anne

I’m calling it as impairment or distraction. It’s just like when a drunk driver hits the ONE car pulled over in the breakdown lane. It’s that weird reverso logic when you are impaired that tells you to aim for an object instead of avoiding it. SMDH. Very sorry for Graser’s family. And for myself, and other riders. When will OUR number be up?

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

So to me this should be a case where ORS 811.065 would apply. So to anyone saying well what if the cyclist hit something and just fell into the roadway, that is exactly why the law says that when passing the driver should move over far enough that even if the cyclist were to fall over to the left that they would still not contact them. In a case like this where there are 2 lanes the driver could have moved into the left lane when passing the cyclist conforming to the the law. If he had done so there would have been no collision. I don’t see how there is even a question about who is at fault here?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

True, there is no bike lane here, and the speed is greater than 35mph.

9watts
Subscriber

Thank you, Bjorn.

I suggested as much back when Marvin Ford killed Hank Bersani on Hwy 99W near Monmouth. Of course at the time the police fully exonerated Ford before the blood on the pavement had dried.
https://bikeportland.org/2012/04/02/collision-on-99w-outside-monmouth-claims-life-of-wou-professor-69758#comment-2727729

Liz Jackson
Guest

Lifting up the family and friends of Scottie Graser….

dwk
Guest
dwk

The report is not believable on any level unless Mr. Graser had a medical condition or something. No way someone with his experience just rode out of that wide shoulder.
Riding by himself he would have been riding several feet on his side of the line and the truck should have been several feet at least away from it (why not the other lane?).
Infuriating!
Since the common response is that cyclists should not be on that road and since it is the ONLY road, provide us another route, should be easy…..

Bobcycle
Guest
Bobcycle

Wondering if skid marks were made by truck which might point to location at impact? Like many here I’m hoping to learn more. Distracted driving? Distracted cycling? Medical emergency? Side wind effect? Regardless, it’s a tragedy. RIP.

Cousin
Guest
Cousin

Scott is an avid rider with thousands and thousands of miles logged in different parts of the country…..it will never be in the best interest for the driver to tell the truth….never….I’m not buying the story…..guilty….prove you are innocent….check the phone for texts….check the phone for anything….pretty sure you will find the answer……Passing a bicyclist you should always be making sure that you are clear….always

Erica
Guest
Erica

I had the pleasure of meeting Scottie when I rode Cycle Oregon back in 2014. As a newbie to the ride, Scottie was incredibly welcoming and encouraging. I enjoyed riding some miles with him and appreciated the support. He was a great ambassador for riding! I am so very sorry to hear he died. My thoughts go out to his friends and family.

AndyK
Subscriber

Rest in peace Scottie!

Derek
Guest
Derek

I don’t know what happened here, but I drive that road every day. 2 things I notice. Even with all the accidents and deaths, people still drive like jerks. Its not speed, its going too slow in the left, and then riding peoples bumper who arent going 80mph. And then I don’t know if its a culture thing with bikes, they always seem to ride that white like regardless of how wide their shoulder path is. I don’t get either. Riding a bike on HW30 on that section is like riding a bike through Cornelius pass, or through Skyline up on the hills. Don’t do it. Its not worth the risk.

hotrodder
Guest
hotrodder

Cyclists are forced to “ride the white” because of all the jetsam and flotsam in the bike path. Simple as that.

BradWagon
Subscriber

Skyline is some of the best riding there is close to Portland. I rode down Cornelius Pass then out to Scappoose the other weekend. Not bad at all on a Saturday morning save for a couple lunatics who seem to prefer nearly killing themselves and others while driving rather than exhibit some patience.

What’s “not worth it” would be keeping cyclists from being able to ride where they want or need to go because we can’t possible infringe on unfettered auto abuse.

Mike
Guest
Mike

There was a gusty wind out of the East on Saturday, but Scottie was riding South, so a sudden gust would have blown him away from the traffic lanes. However, the bobtail tractor would have been blown towards the shoulder by the same effect. Bobtails are more susceptible to wind gusts than tractors pulling trailers:

https://www.chrishudsonlaw.com/library/the-dangers-of-trucks-without-trailers.cfm

And remember Willard Tow exclaimed “He swerved right in front of me!” immediately after fatally striking Andrzej Kurkowski a couple years ago in the bike lane on SW Multnomah. Witness testimony proved otherwise, and Tow (who was DUI) was subsequently sentenced to 6 years in the state pen:

https://bikeportland.org/2016/05/30/someone-has-died-in-a-collision-on-sw-multnomah-184606

9watts
Subscriber

Some great sleuthing there, Mike. Thank you!
Why can’t we get this kind of forensics from law enforcement who supply press releases?

Dave
Guest
Dave

Count me as still not irrationally afraid to cycle Highway 30-but terrified to drive it. At motoring speeds, the ability to see about-to-be cross traffic coming out of many small crossing roads is really limited. I’m many times more afraid of potentially t-boning another driver even when driving below posted speed, than of getting hit from behind while cycling that road.

Joe
Guest
Joe

HWY 30 can be crazy and most are driving way over speed limit. RIP 🙁

Joe
Guest
Joe

I was caught on HWY at night this past weekend and wasn’t feeling very comfy. :/

Brian
Guest
Brian

I am very sorry to read this. Regardless of fault, it looks like our community lost another good person too soon. My condolences to his friends and family.

9watts
Subscriber

‘Lost another good person’

I’m allergic to this common phrase.
If the cyclist were a homeless person, or had a criminal record, or exhibited a disagreeable personality, or had no family, would we feel less bad about his death? I certainly hope not.
Can’t we focus on the injustice of a preventable death rather than ranking those killed on a virtue/likability scale?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I agree, which is why I find the death of an auto driver as regrettable as that of a cyclist.

Brian
Guest
Brian

I agree with the message behind your post and thank you for sharing it, but I feel you may be reading into my comment a bit. Sometimes the focus can (and should?) simply be a kind sentiment to those who are impacted the most by a loss, and after reading some of the comments above it sounds like he positively impacted the lives of many he came across.

9watts
Subscriber

I didn’t think you meant it in any other way, and applaud this sentiment. My only objection is that the phrase ‘good people,’ by suggesting its opposite, takes us down other, unhelpful, roads.

Jason H
Guest
Jason H

Was dreading finding out who the victim was when I first saw saw the news story this weekend. Any vulnerable road user losing their life is tragic and to learn it was as avid a cyclist as Scottie is terrible.

A sobering reminder to actually write that “cyclist’s manifesto” I’ve been meaning to for a while. To detail my own rules of conduct while cycling, so it can speak for me and no one can claim the BS that I randomly swerved or took erratic or illegal motions into their path should the worst happen.

Fred
Guest
Fred

I rode on 30 on Friday, up to Newberry. No work has yet begun to fix the slide, so Newberry is still a gorgeous, car-free, breathtaking ride to Skyline. I noticed several rigs (tractors towing trailers) did in fact pull into the left-hand lane to give me room, when they could; I waved to each one who did this.

Also an ODOT sweeper was out, cleaning the shoulder, heading north around the St John’s Bridge, with a left-arrow truck to move traffic into the left lane. So there is some effort to keep the shoulders clean. Again I waved a thank-you to these hard-working folks.

Very sad to hear about Scottie – so easily could have been me, or any one of us.

Paul B
Guest
Paul B

The sweeper beta is good to know. I was intending to head out there today but after this story posted, I changed my plans and did laps on Tabor instead. There was quite a bit of rock and debris my last trip out and Scottie Graser’s death just made me think to myself, “not today…”

Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s how often this seems to happen, but I am becoming more cautious.

Jimmywoo
Guest
Jimmywoo

This is why I quit cycling on roads. Distracted driving, whether the cause or not, is rampant. EVERY VEHICLE I see seems to have a phone out. Advocacy, rules, laws…not a bit matter. Folks are crossing the lines all over. I won’t bike on car paths until there is a tech solution.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

Hello, Kitty
I read that as “if you go out at night, be careful”. Which sounds to me like good advice, however you get around.Recommended 0

Except that the wording is directed only to people outside of cars. The graphic that was included in the post shows a runner, a cyclist, and someone walking their dog, all with reflective pieces. I’m not saying this is bad advice (I normally wear these myself when running/cycling), but it infers that the VRUs are the ones acting dangerously. Even the mention of poor driving is stated more as a casual fact, not as the root cause of the danger. I understand the intent, but it just illustrates the general public perception in regards to transportation – it’s normal for people to drive inappropriately so it’s your fault if you don’t go above and beyond what’s required if you’re not in a car. Maybe crappy driving wouldn’t be so common if we didn’t treat it as being normal? Heck, people even brag about it…

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I hear what you are saying, and don’t disagree, but it’s still good advice. And it would be good advice in places where people are more skilled at driving, like Germany.

Maybe a more morally correct message would be “don’t drive at night”, and I would encourage anyone involved with street safety to run with that message.

q
Guest
q

You took the words out of my mouth. I didn’t mind the information about pedestrians overestimating their visibility (don’t know if it’s true or not, though). I also didn’t mind the reflective advice.

What was missing was, “What this means if you are a driver is that you have to assume that pedestrians are thinking you can see them when you can’t. So you need to adjust your driving accordingly, by slowing down/paying more attention/etc..”.

I do understand that there’s the possibility that a police officer may come to feel that telling people to change how they drive is hopeless, so directing the advice only to pedestrians would make sense to him, But if that’s his feeling, I would have liked him to say it.

9watts
Subscriber

“A police officer may come to feel that telling people to change how they drive is hopeless.”

What I think is hopeless is that attitude. When we’ve gotten to that point we need a reboot.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

I guess what bugs me the most is that he’s someone who investigates car-VRU incidents, and where his mind might be when doing so. He’s a nice guy, smart, but does he show up to a crash site and see a pedestrian wearing dark clothes and start making assumptions about the pedestrian being at fault – even partially – before looking at any other evidence? I know that could be reading too much into this one post, but if there’s an assumption of risky behavior simply because a person decided to walk to the store without a flashlight and reflective vest, that could affect how the rest of the investigation is handled.

9watts
Subscriber

What you are inferring is highly likely. A facet of what has been called Car Head.

A dreadful scourge.

q
Guest
q

Yes, exactly. I probably should have written that what he said WOULDN’T have bothered me IF he had gone on to give advice to drivers. As it was, I think it’s almost certain he’d be biased in an investigation as you described.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

When you drive at night on any non-restricted-access roadway, regardless of the weather or lighting conditions, you must always expect that there will be humans outside of vehicles using the roads. Pedestrians, by nature, act less predictably than motor vehicles, and special care must be taken to avoid hitting them with your multi-ton vehicles, especially in adverse conditions.

This is one reason for the basic speed rule.

Ted Buehler
Guest
Ted Buehler

Jonathan wrote:
” I’ve sat down with ODOT and served them up ideas on a silver platter”

Jonathan — can you make a list of your ideas public?

I haven’t bicycled US 30 to Scapoose since 1990, nor have I driven a car on it.

Ted Buehler

q
Guest
q

Yes, exactly. I probably should have written that what he said WOULDN’T have bothered me IF he had gone on to give advice to drivers. As it was, I think it’s almost certain he’d be biased in an investigation as you described.

q
Guest
q

Replying to Ryan above.

Martin Vandepas
Guest
Martin Vandepas

I wear many hats
Yes, the difference in speed contributed. If the truck had been going 15 mph and bumped a cyclist going 15 mph, or vice versa, the outcome would be different than the 65 mph vs 15 mph outcome. Its physics. Roads that mix vehicle speeds are dangerous, thats why SE 82nd is more dangerous than interstate 5.Recommended 2

Since you mentioned physics: A truck going 15mph would never bump a cyclist going 15mph in the same direction. The truck would follow the cyclist forever.

9watts
Subscriber

Made me chuckle, the image.

Thanks for that.

Vicky Tate
Guest
Vicky Tate

Scottie was my friend. I am devastated by his death. I really hope that the truth comes out. He was a highly skilled rider who was always safety conscious. He was newly married and happier than ever. Please keep the pressure on about the investigation. I am not local so I don’t know the road. I do know truck drivers having been a Teamster for 25 years. The driver’s livelihood likely depended on his denial of any fault.