Winter Scenes: Camera phone grabs while cycling and walking is a new MyWHaT series to be updated occasionally throughout 2010-11 winter. It’s not so cold.
A bicycle can ride on the roadway and they do have all the rights a car would have. Unfortunately, he wasn’t on the roadway, he was on a gravel shoulder. And even more unfortunate, there was a brand new sidewalk just installed about 15 feet from where he was riding.”
~ Dale Dwojakowski, Sterling Heights Police Lt.
Really? That’s the lieutenant’s position? He should have been on the sidewalk? Ugly. Often after a bicycle and automobile collision, the officers just shouldn’t say anything.
Perhaps the driver, Julia Werth, who at the age of 20 years old already has “twelve points on her driving record for two alcohol violations, two speeding tickets and a car accident” should have not been behind the wheel with a proven disregard for the responsibility. Perhaps then, the man on the bicycle, James Anthony Sawicki from Sterling Heights, would still be alive.
Quit enabling the motorist. Yes, it’s a sad situation for everyone, but if someone gets killed, legal consequences need to occur–period.
Of the 183 comments (and counting) on the Detroit Free Press website, FreedomsRing sums it up well:
“What is disappointing is that the law allows cyclists to be on the roadway … they don’t have to ride on the shoulder. While this sidewalk may have been available, and might have been safe, most sidewalks are not safe for cyclist, and sometimes illegal for cyclists to be on. The ONLY thing that should have been reported is that the cyclists was killed, he was following the law, and that the driver was at fault. She should be charged with invol. manslaughter …just as if she hit a pedestrian who was legally walking across the street.”
Looking For Excuses
Over the weekend, a motorists slammed head-on to 8 cyclists in Italy. Killing them all. In a response to that tragedy, the BLOG Urban Country has a related post by James D. Schwartz connecting these crashes, our car-centric cultures and the media. And why these aren’t accidents.
“Car-centric societies tend to make excuses to defend a way of life – a life dependent on automobiles. These excuses are disproportionately emphasized in the media and accepted by society.
When a tragedy occurs between a motorist and a bicyclist, the media looks for reasons to explain how such a tragic event could occur. Was the bicyclist wearing a helmet? Was the driver under the influence of alcohol? Was the bicyclist wearing dark clothes?
It’s easier to deflect blame than to accept that cars are dangerous and drastic measures are needed to improve safety.”
Continue reading at Enough Excuses: Cars Cause Death.
* Photo by Kevin Schraer via Urban Country & Flickr
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