7 thoughts on “NoBackspace: Vision Zero Works When Victim-Blaming Stops and Accountability Starts

  1. I’ll take your folks more seriously when you speak up against bikers who don’t lights and reflectors. There are an amazing number of invisible bikers out there and they do have a responsibility.

    • It appears based on your comment you did not fully comprehend the information presented in the article. The article articulates the notion of how bicycle and pedestrian (walking) related deaths as a result of negligent driving by the motor vechile operator, are often not investigated further or prosecuted, often leaving the bicyclist or pedestrian with the blame and therefore no accountability from a criminal or civil law standpoint of the negligent motor vechile operator, or even the notion to investigate these events further, which is the basis for the article.

  2. A sidebar on trucking: oversized trucks (53′ plus) are not allowed on City streets unless they get a special permit from DoT, and are making a single drop/pickup. The “improved economy” be damned: jobs would increase if the NYS traffic laws were enforced!

  3. From the article: “When we hear about traffic crashes, there’s a tendency to question the intentions of the victim first and immediately put fault on them, instead of a reckless driver.”

    Hmm: “a reckless driver”. Interesting choice of words, in an article which seems to be admonishing us against blindly assigning blame for crashes on a specific group of people without knowing the facts.

  4. Yes, let’s remember that the blame can go either way. Bike riders or pedestrians should not be presumed to be guilty, but neither should motorists. Every crash should be carefully analyzed as to its cause or causes. This idea that I am guilty because I am driving a two-ton machine needs to go away, and the actual legality of the actions needs to be analyzed, along with answering the question: Could either or both of the parties have prevented the crash? Vision Zero is a noble idea, but proponents over-simplify the situation and presume every crash is a result of speed. It just ain’t so! And, the stress on speed reduction needs to be replaced by a shotgun approach that utilizes every possible means of preventing crashes, starting with those that don’t interfere with driving (or biking for that matter). I’ll certainly agree that some motorists speed even to the point of crazy, and do other crazy things. But, the biking community that is so enthusiastically for Vision Zero needs to realize it views the automobile and its drivers in a harsh, negative way that is deserved ONLY by a minority. Instead of Vision Zero proponents on one side and drivers on the other, we need to search for even-handed solutions that will benefit all stakeholders, accomplishing safety goals while maintaining walkability, bike ridability, and drivability to the extent possible. That means slowing some drivers down but not all, and substituting intelligent road design and selective, accurate enforcement for draconian methods like eliminating driving lanes needed for reasonably free traffic flow at busier times.

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