See that video? It was making the rounds earlier this summer because of an incident at the one-minute mark. You'll see a driver in a Kia Soul speed past the cyclist who was filming (and had his child with him), carelessly threading between parked cars and a second, oncoming cyclist.
It's nothing all that special. Aggrieved stories of bad traffic actors—both in cars and on bikes—pop up all a time, but nothing ever comes of them.
That's why this is interesting. Portland police announced today that, on Thursday, they cited the Kia driver for his recklessness in the video. That's more than a month after the incident occurred, but just three days after the videographer, Tony Tapay, reported it to cops.
From the release:
On Monday August 17, 2015, Tony Tapay, a resident of Southeast Portland's Creston-Kenilworth Neighborhood, called the Portland Police Bureau's Traffic Division to discuss issuing a citation to a careless driver after an encounter on July 7, 2015, at approximately 5:00 p.m.
Tapay provided a personal video of the encounter and the suspect vehicle driving by him at a high rate of speed as he and his child rode their bicycle along Southeast 34th Avenue. Tapay was able to provide the suspect's description, the license plate number and a vehicle description to police.
Officers were able to view the video and observed the driver speed by Tapay and his son, nearly hitting another bicycle rider and a driver head-on.
Officers located the vehicle, a 2012 Kia Soul, and the driver, Andrew Vilas Reid, on August 20, 2015, and issued him traffic citations for Careless Driving and Unsafe Passing of a Person Operating a Bicycle.
Not only is that a fast turnaround, the cops' trumpeting of the ticket is unusual. In the hundreds of police press releases I've seen over the years, I'm pretty sure this is the first time police have taken the time to issue a release on a traffic altercation where no contact occurred. And this comes just a couple months after the city codified a commitment to Vision Zero—the notion that preventing serious injury and death on Portland's roads should take precedence over other considerations.
Is that just a coincidence? According to PPB spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson, sort of.
"It really was a perfect alignment of stars," Simpson wrote in an email. "Mr. Tapay had the video and solid information that assisted investigators with locating and citing the driver. We definitely get a number of similar complaints but generally it’s not enough information to track down and verify the identity of the driver (or bicycle rider)."
He added: "I’d love to say that we have enough resources to track down and investigate every complaint about a traffic violation but we don’t and have to be very judicious with our use of investigative resources."