A cyclist was killed in Ohio.

Officials reported that Prater was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

“Preliminary information suggests that he was doing everything correct,” Drifmeyer said. Via Cincinnati.com

Humor me as I give this a creative rewrite.

A woman was killed in Ohio.

Officials reported that Prater was wearing a turtleneck at the time of the attack.

“Preliminary information suggest that she was doing everything correct,” Drifmeyer said.

When a person is killed by the intentional acts of another person, why do people feel they need to defend the actions of the victim; if the said victim is a person riding a bicycle?

Typically, when the media reports whether or not a person was or was not wearing some safety device i.e. high vis. clothing and/or helmet, it is because there is some type of legislation specifying its use or someone is trying to push legislation pushing its use.

When I lived in California, every news article and t.v. spot always mentioned whether or not the person was wearing a seat belt. They most frequently reported on those collisions in which someone was injured or killed and NOT wearing a seat belt.

There is ample scientific proof that wearing a seatbelt in a motor vehicle collision provides the user protection.

The same can not be said for the bicycle helmet.

Let me repeat that, in case you missed it.

There is ample scientific proof that wearing a seatbelt in a motor vehicle collision provides the user protectionPhysics; Georgia State University

The same can not be said for the bicycle helmet. I couldn’t find a corresponding link to a science based article so here’s a Google search instead.

The cyclist was wearing a helmet.

He was wearing a helmet and he still died.

He may not have suffered any head injury due to wearing the helmet. Or he may have suffered severe head injury in spite of the helmet. The evidence isn’t presented in the media.

Stop legislating mandatory bicycle helmet use and stop making a point by reporting the use or nonuse of a bicycle helmet by the victim.

A bicycle helmet is no more protection to a cyclist against a 2 ton motorized weapon than a turtleneck is to a woman being attacked.

They are both the victims of an intentional act by an outside force.

The police suspect drugs were involved.

The use or nonuse of drugs, alcohol, cellphone, discipline of screaming kids in back seat, and the ever faithful “sun was in my eyes,” excuses are just that; excuses.

A person who uses alcohol or drugs and then gets behind the wheel is committing an intentional act.

A person using a cellphone while driving is committing an intentional act.

A person disciplining screaming kids in the back seat while operating a 2 ton motorized weapon is committing an intentional act.

A person who can not see the road ahead of them, yet continues to operate their 2 tons of motorized weaponry is committing an intentional act.

When you choose to do something behind the wheel, you are making a decision which places the lives of those around you and the lives of those in the vehicle, including your own, at risk. You are committing an intentional act.

I know people who treat their bicycle as the legally defined vehicle it is and still get treated with scathing disrespect by people who operate their legally defined MOTOR vehicle as though it were a toy.

Your motor vehicle is not a toy. No matter what the auto commercials may show  you.

The road is not where you express your “spirit for adventure!”

The police suspect drugs were involved.

A sober person rapes another person.

A drugged up person rapes another person.

A sober person kills another person.

A drugged up person kills another person.

The use or nonuse of drugs isn’t a defence and it isn’t an admission of culpability.

THE ACT OF KILLING IS WHERE IT’S AT!

As a society we make too many excuses for wrong behavior based on the thought that “It could have been me.” It could have been me except “I don’t do drugs,” so my conscience is clear and I’ll keep driving distracted because that’s not nearly as serious as doing drugs.

Except that it is.
See; Top Ten Dangerous Driving Habits, I bet you’ve done at least five of them if not all of them.

By “suspecting drugs,” we are giving a clean slate for others to kill.

The whole “it couldn’t possibly happen to me” syndrome. Except that it does.

A cyclist was riding on the edge of the road and a woman driving an SUV killed him. He was wearing a helmet and she thought she was giving him enough passing clearance. Her side view mirror struck the helmeted cyclists head at 55 mph and killed him. She was not drunk or on drugs. The sun was not in her eyes. Via. Biking in L.A.

She saw the cyclist and still killed him. She killed him because she did one thing wrong.

She did NOT treat him as the operator of a vehicle and instead of changing lanes to pass, like she would any other vehicle (including a motorcycle), she instead chose to pass him with minimal clearance.

This was an intentional act on her part.

This article also states that the driver was 77 years old.

Aging drivers are less able to judge distance. They also have poor motor coordination and it is the intentional act of the auto industry to promote their product in such a way that they have intentionally killed public transport.

By now you may have noticed a theme.

Driving is an intentional act. There are no excuses for killing someone when you are behind the wheel.

If you don’t need to drive, then don’t do it.

If you do need to drive, then do it with the thought “Today, would be the day I kill someone if I don’t put away these distractions and focus solely on driving.”

There are a lot of distracted drivers out there.

Distracted driving is ultimately the excuse given by the driver.

She claimed that she was distracted by unruly kids in the back seat. It was after the fact that they found evidence of drug paraphernalia in her purse. We won’t know for sure if she was high at the time, until lab work comes back. And if it is found that she was not under the influence at the time, THAT SHOULD NOT BE AN EXCUSE FOR GOING EASY ON HER. SHE KILLED SOMEONE!

Defending his honor!

We shouldn’t feel the need to defend the victims honor. We can honor the victim but elevating them to godlike status isn’t doing anyone any favors.

It is enough that they are a human being who lost their life.

The counter effect to defending the honor of those killed by people driving auto’s is this; Anyone who is less than perfect, and you know that none of us are perfect, implies that they are somehow to blame in their own death.

Neither does it matter that the cyclist killed is in fact a father, husband, and all around swell guy. He could be a bachelor who’s a real prick and his death would be every bit as important.

But if you paint them as being somehow unsavory then the attitude of people will be less likely to support the victim.

That is where the problem is.

Facts are the only thing that should matter. The content of their character doesn’t matter; when someone intentionally operates an auto in such a way that they kill someone, who they are as a person doesn’t matter.

The driver could have been Mother Teresa; sorry bad example. The driver could have been Doris Day and she should still be charged with a felony manslaughter. Her only saving grace would be if she could prove that she did everything possible to avoid the collision. In which case she too would be riding a bicycle, walking, or taking public transit.

5029386406_7947075f60
It is possible to take the kids along in a bicycle version of an SUV. 

This death should never have happened. Because she should never have gotten behind the wheel if she was in fact found to be under the influence at the time of the collision. She should never have taken her eyes off the road, not even for unruly kids.

How to drive with unruly kids.

  1. Don’t have kids.
  2. Don’t drive with kids if you do have them.
  3.  If you do have kids and you do intentionally choose to drive with them educate them on how serious driving is and why they have to behave.
  4.  If you have educated them and they still choose to behave like typical kids, then you keep your temper, you keep your eyes on the road, you scan the edge of the road for a safe place to pull over, you pull over, and then you discipline the kids.

Only after the interior of the car is completely calm do you then resume operations.

You don’t belong!

Why elevating the victim to sainthood hurts other road users.

“She sounds like someone we can support, unlike those other yahoo’s.” Andy Clarke

I’m sitting in court and my cycling advocate friend is sitting next to me. He is looking at his phone and he shows me an email he just received from Andy Clarke (Former President of League of American Bicyclists). He shows me the email. This is his attempt to show me that this backwater town isn’t going to ride rough shod over a cyclist. We have the support of Andy Clarke “big man honcho” with LAB.

My immediate thought was “those other yahoo’s?” and I asked my friend about what he meant by that. My friend brushed my concern aside by saying “You know wrong way cyclists, people who lost their license for driving drunk.” Those other people. Yahoo’s. He went on to say “but they aren’t like you Cherokee, you are cycling correctly and for the right reasons.”

Classifying people as “other” creates a distance between us and them. It creates an US vs. THEM. They are “those” people but we are “these” people. “Those” people do it wrong but “these” people do it right.

You have to cycle correctly and for the right reasons?

Because, if you don’t then you could be held liable in your own death?

Drivers Fault.PNG
Not according to already established case law. 

That’s right! If you are driving a motor vehicle and you injure someone else then you should be presumed at fault.

But this would discourage driving so auto companies have paid to influence our perspective.

Watch the news. Count the car commercials. Notice any collisions reported where the injured person is not in an auto.

I did.

Here’s what I found.

Roughly 80% of the placed ads were for auto’s. 100% of the ads implied that driving is exhilarating, for freedom lovers, and that public roads are personal playgrounds.

Of the injuries reported the vulnerable road user was painted as somehow at fault.

Except that legally they are not.

Except that since “Deputy v kimmell” there has been a push for laws to make it legal to find fault with vulnerable road users.

Imagine if we did the same thing for rapists? Or people who kill other people with guns?

Imagine a world where it is normal to assume the woman was somehow at fault in her own rape based on her clothes or lack thereof. We don’t really have to imagine because we do live in a world where such judgments exist.

But imagine if they passed legislation placing the woman at fault if she wasn’t wearing a turtleneck at the time of her attack.

Or imagine; they passed legislation placing fault of a mass shooting on the children killed because they were in school instead of adjacent to the school.

Such thoughts should be highly offensive to you.

but this is exactly what we are doing when we blame people for being assaulted by someone with a motor vehicle.

Why I take the lane.

I take the lane because it reduces risk. I’m a survivalist. I’ve put aside all the urban myths and studied the facts.

I found that wearing a helmet to protect you from car collisions is a myth. Or to reduce the severity of injury in a car collision, also a myth. (I would however wear a helmet to protect me from head injury if I were say; Mountain Biking or Group Riding.)

I found that cycling on the shoulder isn’t safer than taking the lane.

I stopped wearing a helmet because the social response from people driving cars was “Omigosh! She’s so vulnerable without a helmet!” and they give me more space by default.

I stopped cycling on the shoulder because I found that when I’m in the lane people notice me. When I’m in the lane and people don’t notice me, this has happened, they have space to the right to ditch out on.

Anyone who would blame me for being in the lane is victim blaming. Review the graphic on Deputy v Kimmell. Anyone blaming the cyclist for being killed while on the shoulder is victim blaming.

THAT SHIT HAS TO STOP AND IT HAS TO STOP NOW! 

If you would like to donate to the family’s GoFundMe account you can do so here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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