Re: Interesting Encounter with an Off-duty Police Officer


July 30, 2011 at 8:16 PM

814.430. Improper use of lanes; exceptions; penalty.
(1) A person commits the offense of improper use of lanes by a
bicycle if the person is operating a bicycle on a roadway at less than
the normal speed of traffic using the roadway at that time and place
under the existing conditions and the person does not ride as close as
practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway.
(2) A person is not in violation of the offense under this section
if the person is not operating a bicycle as close as practicable to the
right curb or edge of the roadway under any of the following
(a) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle that is proceeding in the same direction.
(b) When preparing to execute a left turn.
(c) When reasonably necessary to avoid hazardous conditions
including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or other
conditions that make continued operation along the right curb or edge
unsafe or to avoid unsafe operation in a lane on the roadway that is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side. Nothing in this paragraph excuses the operator of a bicycle from the
requirements under > ORS 811.425 or from the penalties for failure to comply with those requirements.
(d) When operating within a city as near as practicable to the left
curb or edge of a roadway that is designated to allow traffic to move in only one direction along the roadway. A bicycle that is operated under
this paragraph is subject to the same requirements and exceptions when
operating along the left curb or edge as are applicable when a bicycle
is operating along the right curb or edge of the roadway.
(e) When operating a bicycle alongside not more than one other
bicycle as long as the bicycles are both being operated within a single
lane and in a manner that does not impede the normal and reasonable
movement of traffic.
(f) When operating on a bicycle lane or bicycle path.
(3) The offense described in this section, improper use of lanes by a bicycle, is a Class D traffic infraction
What is happening in Kevin's corner of the bike world?

>From: Jeremy
>Sent: Saturday, July 30, 2011 7:49 PM
>Subject: [OBRA Chat] Interesting Encounter with an Off-duty Police Officer
>Dear OBRA,
>Long-time listener, first-time caller...  I had a very interesting interaction with someone who said she was a police officer today on a training ride.
>I was white-line riding over an overpass over I-5 where the shoulder is non-existent widens a bit for the overpass then narrows down.  As these sections get swept about once every 2-5 years, the shoulder is littered with rocks, glass and other miscellaneous debris.  I was passed safely by one car then buzzed by a dark gray Ford Bronco towing a trailer about a foot from my shoulder.  I swung my left hand to signal the driver to give more room.  She took her arm out the window and waved over to indicate that I should have been over more to the right.  Knowing then that she knew exactly what she was doing, I hauled tail, got the license plate and called 911 when she turned onto the highway.
>911 was friendly and helpful and asked repeatedly if I was okay.  I said physically I was fine but I was pretty shaken.  They took all my info and we parted company.
>I rode on and took a turn I have taken maybe twice ever, and there was the Bronco, parked in a driveway, lights on and garage open.  I asked the woman in the garage if that was her car.  She said it was her daughter's and I said that car buzzed me about 15 minutes earlier.  She went in to the house and fetched her daughter.
>As I talked to the driver, I asked her if she knew she buzzed me.  She said yes.  I introduced myself and asked her if she understood that buzzing me was not within the law.  She replied she was a police officer and asked if I knew that I have to ride as far right as the road allows.  I kindly informed her that wasn't how the law read and I was as right as the conditions allowed.  Further talking with her brought out that she was having a bad day and lost her uncle.  I expressed condolences and politely asked her to think about how her actions could have made her bad day my bad day and that I have children that I do happen to love and who would miss me should something terrible happen because someone tried to make a point by putting my life in danger.  She then said something to the effect of "when I see a bicyclist" at which point I kindly said, "My name is Jeremy.  I am not 'a bicyclist'.  I am father and husband."
>At first, she wanted not to identify herself and I repeatedly told her she didn't have to if she didn't want to, I just wanted to talk.  In the end, she apologized and offered a business card, which I refused.  After another 2 hours of riding and thinking, I'm wishing, perhaps, I had taken that card, but I really hope she took what I said to heart.  A part of me wishes I had a nutshell citation of the statutes involved with where we are "supposed to ride" when there is no bike lane I could have handed her because, in hindsight, I think I am more scared that an officer of the law would attempt to make a legal point in that manner than simply pull me over and cite me, if I were really in the wrong (which I don't think I am).
>I consider myself very fortunate that 1) the driver didn't wing me with her mirror, 2) the driver was actually willing to talk to me, and 3) that kind of buzzing happens to me really infrequently.
>Besides actually taking her card, should I have done anything differently?
>-Jeremy Everitt
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