A couple of Scottsdale incidents involving bicyclist injuries

There have been a couple of serious injury collisions recently in Scottsdale this Spring… both say/hint the collisions were caused by (unspecified) driver distraction.

Bicyclist critically injured in Scottsdale

Sat Mar 28, 2015 morning time. According to news report, location was  “near”  FLW Blvd and Cactus, Scottsdale / vehicle was NB, cyclists direction was not stated.

Crashes involving more than bicyclist are rather quite rare, see  heading below for more info.

Jennifer Soules, The Republic | azcentral.com
Two bicyclists were struck by a car in Scottsdale Saturday morning, critically injuring one of them, a spokesman for the Scottsdale Fire Department said. A vehicle heading northbound near Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and Cactus Road struck the two bikers, both of whom were wearing helmets, spokesman Chris Schibi said. One bicyclist was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition, Schibi said. A Scottsdale Police spokesman said the driver was not impaired, but admitted to not paying attention. The driver was arrested for driving with a suspended license, Sgt. Benjamin Hoster said. The Scottsdale Police Department will continue the investigation.

It would be mere speculation [update; see crash report data, below], since the story doesn’t even mention the manner of collision, but if the driver was overtaking and straddling the edge line, he should be charged with 28-672 (or 675 or 676 depending on the reason the driver’s license was suspended, as was done (correctly) in this serious triple injury on McDowell in 2012, which was handled by the Sheriff’s office and county (not the city). I also note that the driver that killed Shawn McCarty in 2012 was NOT charged with 28-672 which was handled by city of Scottsdale and seemed to have been mis-handled (why was the 28-735C enhanced penalty not levied?), and rushed.

Crash report data: incident 2946529  (scottsdale file# 1507220) SIDESWIPE; driver was faulted for OTHER_UNSAFE_PASSING; and was presumably/likely cited for 28-735 , in addition to the news report saying the driver was arrested for driving on a suspended license (crash database does not capture citation information). He is eligible for an enhanced penalty due to 28-735C, but as we’ve seen in McCarty’s case, it doesn’t seem to amount to much.

It can’t be discerned from data how the bicyclists were riding: single vs. double file. The male bicyclist injuries were incapacitating, and the female was non-incap.

The specific location along Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd is divided with 2 narrow lanes each direction and no right stripe (i.e. there is no shoulder, there is no BL)
It was also noted the driver was: MANUALLY_OPERATION_AN_ELECTRONIC_DEVICE

That this happened within a traffic lane means the motorist would not have been “Failed to maintain proper lane”, the/a predicate for a 28-672 charge; and that this would be tagged “strike-from-behind”.


Police: SUV hits, seriously injures cyclist in Scottsdale

Friday Feb 27, 2015, time?.  Both cyclist and SUV driver EB Happy Valley Road near Pima Road.  The story does not give a more exact location, Happy Valley nearest Pima is two narrow lanes in each direction w/no shoulder, there’s a flat gutter pan and to the right it drops off to dirt/gravel. Further from intersection it is one lane in each direction with a wide paved shoulder. Cyclists are advised to ride toward the center of narrow lanes to be most visible to overtaking motorists, and cautioned to not hug the right.

Kody Acevedo, The Republic | azcentral.com
A Scottsdale cyclist suffered serious injuries Friday after being hit by a vehicle, officials said. The cyclist was riding eastbound on Happy Valley Road near Pima Road when he was struck by an SUV going the same direction, according to Sgt. Benjamin Hoster, a spokesman for Scottsdale Police Department. Hoster said the incident occurred because driver wasn’t paying attention to the road. The cyclist suffered serious injuries to his head and legs, but he was awake and talking, Hoster said. The eastbound lanes of Happy Valley Road were closed for a short time but have since reopened.

In the event this happened in the area where there is a paved shoulder, if the cyclist was riding on the shoulder and the motorist was straddling the lane line, the same comments about 28-672 (above) would apply.

Crash Report Data incident 2944143 (Scottsdale file# 1504826) The location along Happy Valley about 250′ east of Pima shows a shoulder that looks simialar to a BL (in other words there’s a white edge line stripe enclosing an area between it and the curb/gutter that would appear to be a BL, but is not designated as such). The bicyclist location was SHOULDER, and the motorist was faulted for a behavior of FAILED_TO_KEEP_IN_PROPER_LANE. Given that the motorist caused and INCAPACITATING_INJURY, that violation is a predicate for 28-672;  Scottsdale should have charged the driver with 28-672 — did they?

This is a classic “drifted” crash type.

Poking around on the crashmap, I noted incident 2790003 which occurred at Happy Valley and Pima Road and appears to be a classic right hook where Scottsdale PD faulted the bicyclist for “TOO FAST FOR CONDITIONS”; seems odd/unlikely but without the full crash report who knows.

Unrelated Motorcyclist incident

Coincidentally and unrelated, there was a double motorcyclist fatality that occurred closeby at FLW and Thunderbird and right around the same time on early Saturday afternoon (March 28, 2015). This was part of an organized motorcycle charity ride; and part of “AZ Bike Week” events. The motorcyclist fatality has become controversial because some of the riders have said they were instructed to run the red lights (by whom?). Another follow up story (all by Matthew Casey, the public safety reporter) 4/25/2015 Records detail plans for Torch Ride p. 14A ( Online as Records: Light should have been green in fatal Scottsdale Torch Ride ) give some more details as the inevitable civil lawsuit gets ready and begins its long expensive journey; this story was the result of a records dump that AZ republic made to Scottsdale: a copy of the victim’s signed waivers, along with Scottsdale PD’s staffing plans for the event were released, along with various emails… “from the beginning of the event, from our standpoint, it was not going to be a closed route and that all intersections would not be controlled — that was relayed to the organizer” Scottsdale PD spokesman said. “Riders passed through a total of 17 lights in Scottsdale, four of which were supposed to be allowed to go through normal cycles, records show”.

Traffic collisions involving multiple bicyclists are rare

On average (over the most recent 5 year period), only 28 of the 2,000 reported bicyclist-MV crashes per year in AZ involve more than 1 bicyclist.

I am also trying to figure out some clever way to risk adjust the number… any ideas?/??

The actual result was for the five years 2009-2013, of the 9,942 reported bicyclist-MV crashes, 142 involved more than one bicyclist.
SELECT TotalNonMotorists,count(*) FROM 2012_incident i WHERE EXISTS (SELECT 1 FROM 2012_unit u WHERE u.IncidentID=i.IncidentID AND u.eUnitType IN ('PEDALCYCLIST')) GROUP BY 1 ;
SELECT count(*) FROM 2012_incident i WHERE EXISTS 
(SELECT 1 FROM 2012_unit u WHERE u.IncidentID=i.IncidentID AND u.eUnitType IN ('PEDALCYCLIST')) ;


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