Wednesday, February 27, 2008

When the police won't..................

I could have edited the previous post of today but figured this was noteworthy enough to warrant it's own posting.

I just heard on the news (and followed up by reading it in that the citizen initiated citation filed by attorney Chris Heaps on behalf of Siobhan Doyle was successful. You might remember that Ms Doyle was riding on Interstate at the intersection of Greely last November when a car "right hooked" her. This occurred at the same location that Brett Jarolimek was killed not too long before. The Portland Police failed to issue a citation so attorney Chris Heaps went through the tedious (and well publicized red tape) process to file a citizen citation to try to get some measure of justice. Today it was announced that the driver in the case, Lisa Wheeler, has plead no contest and was fined $182 for violating ORS 811.050, "failure to yield to a bicycle in a bicycle lane". While $182 is not a huge fine, it does affect an insurance company's ability to claim that their insured did nothing wrong.
It will make getting medical bills and property damage compensation easier. Depending on the driver's previous record it might also might affect insurance rates.

While rules concerning investigation by police of bike accidents has changed since then, I also hope that this result opens the eyes of some police. When I run a red light I'm guilty. When I fail to yield to a bike in a bike lane it should be just as cut and dried. In the recent past it has not been so. IMHO, that needs to change.

For more details and background info go here

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