Wednesday, July 12, 2006
It was me. I designed these lovely signs, which cropped up all over Dane County on about June 23. They're part if a public awareness campaign launched by the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin.
Since I have a reputation as an avid cyclist, quite a number of people asked for explanations. I told most of them that it really amounts to asking motorists to please pay attention to what there're doing, in hopes that fewer cyclists will be killed and injured in traffic crashes.
Invariably, the response was some variation on "but...cyclists violate traffic laws all the time!" Okay, fine. I'm sure that's true. But just the same, there are plenty of law-abiding cyclists who are just at much at risk when it comes to inattentive driving. No one involved with the ghostbikes.net project is asking that anyone be allowed to violate any traffic regulations with impunity. If some cyclists violate the law, how does that vindicate motorists who violate the law?
I think there's a common willingness among people who drive regularly to overlook the asymmetrical consequences of car-bike collisions. The harsh reality is that inattentive motorists are far more likely to kill than inattentive or even scofflaw bicyclists. That's really a hard one for many folks to swallow.
Funny though, how when a truck driver reaches for his fallen cigarettes, plows into a car and kills a 4-year old and her grandmother, he gets time behind bars. Somebody looks down his throat in his rear-view at highway speed and kills a 30-year old cyclist? Hung jury. Where's the sense in that?
Posted by Michael Lemberger at 10:10 PM