Nov 4, 2009

Road Raging Driver Found Guilty

(photo from velonews)

a driver in california has been found guilty on all counts in the case involving him and 4 cyclists who he braked suddenly in front of to "teach them a lesson". the picture here shows you the bloody aftermath of that "lesson".

UPDATE - guilty on all counts!

for more info on this case, check out velonews, as they have been covering all aspects of this case.

one of the things that really resonated with me was the comments made by the doctor - that he wanted to teach them a lesson. what lesson was he planning on teaching these riders by impailing them with his bumper? that cars rule the roads? that he is entitled to the road because he is rich and driving a fancy car? that cyclists are second-class road users, and as such, can be crashed off the road at will? its too bad the officer didnt ask him what lesson exactly he was teaching them?

also interesting were the comments by one of the victims -" be honest, it's sad for both sides. I'm glad it sends a message to the community that it is dangerous and we have to watch out, but at the end of the day, I lost a lot of my time and my life, and he's losing a lot of his.”

who knows whether this case will resonate in the enforcement community - aka police, who, historically have tended to regard car-bike collisions as minor fender benders and not personal injury situations. ask almost anyone who has had a run-in with a motorist and quite often the attending officer - if one shows up at all - almost alway approach the the situation with a pro-car stance. dont believe me? ask around.

the reality is that is you are riding a bike and a driver decides to "teach you a lesson" you are going to find yourself on the receiving end of a personal injury while the driver might have dent in his sheet metal.

hardly equitable outcomes for the driver and cyclist.

this case illustrates a huge problem we have here in canada and the US. for 60 years now; governments and industry have been squeezing out other road users to accommodate the single occupancy vehicle to the expense of our health, our communities, and our future. beacause of this, motorists have been sold the idea that streets are the sole domain of vehicles only, when in reality, streets are in the public domain and are for use by everyone.

people. bikes. everyone.

add to that mix the media feeding us images of beautiful people in fancy cars, on wide open roads, travelling at a million miles an hour - and you can begin understand, to a point, why motorists are getting more frustrated and aggressive while behind the wheel. essentially, we have been lied to for 60 years by the car industry and - although people probably dont make those connections consciously, they are feeling it inside them and acting out in dangerous ways.

thankfully, some governments are beginning to awaken to the disaster that has been created and are trying to correct the imbalance. we have a long way to go but we are beginning to move in the right direction.

1 comment:

Dottie said...

Ugh, so awful. I have to believe in karma.