Wednesday, December 13, 2017

DMV Crash Reporting Thresholds to Rise

The Oregon Transportation Commission meets on Friday the 15th, and there are several bits on the agenda about House Bill 2017 and settling details on the State 2021-2024 funding cycle. We'll probably come back to some of them as they filter down to the MPO level. If you are interested in more detail, here's the full agenda and links to the meeting materials and presentations.

One item in the consent calendar stands out.

The OTC will formally approve a change in Oregon Administrative Rules on crashes that must be reported to the DMV:

Raising the threshold of damages for reporting
I think this is a direct consequence of Senate Bill 35.

Things to note:
  • ODOT and the DMV here continue to use the language of "accident" rather than "crash." This is a symptom of minimizing the extent to which many or most of these are preventable, and not in fact random "acts of God."
  • Only high-end bikes have a value of $2500 or more. For ordinary bikes, the value of "a totaled bike" is equivalent to a "fender-bender." A kind of routine bike catastrophe is not reportable and therefore unimportant. This underreporting skews data that ODOT collects, and which cities and MPOs use formally in Safety Plans, in addition to making insurance claims more difficult. 
  • So this is a detail in the way that ODOT enacts a systemic bias against people who bike, and is an ingredient in the perpetuation of the more general autoist system.
Also, the Salem Public Art Commission meets today (full packet here), and the Cherriots Board meets tomorrow (full packet here). They mostly had routine or on-going things on the agenda, and it didn't seem like there was anything interesting to say about them. But if these are your particular interests, do check out their agenda.

1 comment:

Doug's Transportation Ramblings said...

I agree with respect to the autoist attitude at ODOT. (They have adopted multi-use rhetoric in their policies, but there is very little evidence of that in their work on the ground.) Perhaps the continued use of "accident" is based on the statutory terminology.

I doubt that the $$$ threshold for reporting is of particular importance in reporting crashes involving bicyclists. Any crash in which there is an injury also must be reported. That's ANY Injury. I have yet to be involved in a bicycle crash in which I didn't at least skin a knee. It's hard to imagine that a crash that destroyed a bicycle didn't also result in injury to the operator. Motor vehicle/bicycle crashes are under-reported because the victims don't take the time and effort to report them. They should. If the bicyclist reports, the motorist must also do so or risk losing their license.

I recently assisted a bicyclist in doing so and we had no problem filing the report and it did prompt DMV to require a report from the driver who we also cited for careless driving. (There was little property damage and the injuries were minor.)