vulnerable roadway user law

Opinion: We failed Tamar Monhait

Avatar by on November 17th, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Memorial for Tamar at Water and Taylor.
(Photos: Patrick Rafferty)

I can’t stop thinking that we’ve failed Tamar Monhait.

Monhait is the woman who was killed while bicycling northbound on SE Water Avenue back in August. On that fateful night, a professional driver named Paul Thompson was operating a commercial garbage truck in the opposite direction. As Monhait crossed Taylor Street, Thompson made a sudden left turn in front of her. She died from the impact and took her last breath in the middle of that intersection.

The intersection isn’t as well-lit as it should be and Monhait did not appear to have a legally required front light. Thompson claimed he never saw her. The police say Monhait’s impairment from alcohol was a factor in the collision; but there’s no evidence she could have done anything differently to avoid the truck — especially since Thompson, according to the police, admitted he was trying to outrun an approaching train and gave no warning before making his turn.

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Citation for ‘Careless Driving to a Vulnerable Road User’ given in July collision

Avatar by on August 6th, 2013 at 10:57 am

Amundson’s garbage truck is on the right..
(Photo courtesy Jason Lee.)

The Portland Police have issued a citation to 39-year-old Christopher Amundson for his role in a collision that happened on Friday, July 12th. As we reported the day it happened, Amundson was driving a garbage truck southbound on SE 17th when he made a left turn onto SW McLoughlin. Amundson’s truck collided with 22-year-old Charles Casperson, who was riding his bicycle in the crosswalk in the same direction.

Amundson has been cited for Careless Driving. Additionally, since Casperson sustained serious, trauma-level injuries, Amundson’s citation triggers Oregon’s Vulnerable Roadway User law (minor injuries don’t trigger the VRU law, as we saw in the case of a man who ran into the back of a child trailer in December 2012). The VRU comes with some combination of added fines (up to $12,500), community service, an appearance in court, completion of a traffic safety course, and a license suspension.[Read more…]