Why is it that cyclists are always blamed even in cases when they are obviously not at fault?
According to a recent report from Village Voice, a 35 year-old cyclist was run down by driver after the two exchanged words in Brooklyn, New York last month. The cyclist, Matthew Von Ohlen, was hit and dragged by the driver for 30 feet before the driver sped off in a hit and run (NY Dailynews). Onlookers rushed to help him, but it was too late.
PHOTO: DANNY IUDICI FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Instead of trying to create a safer environment for cyclists and pushing car drivers to abide by road sharing laws, the NYPD spent the next day in the same area issuing summonses to cyclists running red light.
The director of Transportation Alternatives, Paul White, issued a statement saying "This is a particularly egregious example of the NYPD's skewed priorities when it comes to traffic enforcement, and of the victim-blaming mentality that pervades the department."
I am not saying that cyclists can run red lights, but there is unequal blame placed on cyclists in comparison to car drivers. Both parties need to learn to follow the law and develop mutual respect. Otherwise, we are only going to see more instances of car related cycling injuries and death.
In fact, this year has seen a surge in bicycle deaths in the US, including a single incident in Kalamazoo Michigan with a man plowing his pickup through nine cyclists, killing five, just a month before.
PHOTO: CHELSEA PURGAHN//KALAMAZOO GAZETTE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
What can we do to create safe roads for everyone, cyclists, drivers and pedestrians alike?