An eye for an eye

Unprocessed trauma is a weapon.

I had been listening to “Why is this happening?” a podcast by Chris Hayes. In this episode, he featured Mariame Kaba, a transformative justice advocate and prison abolitionist. One of the striking moments of the podcast was when Mariame opened up about her own sexual abuse trauma. In it, she explains that people’s traumas are valid and they are important for us to consider, however, society cannot be governed by how to address things mainly by people’s traumas and their fears. She goes on to explain that she is a survivor of rape and that she was what she terms a reactionary survivor. Mariame explains that she did not have an analysis of what had happened to her. That she was an incredibly hurt and harmed individual, who wanted nothing but violence against the person who had harmed her. That ultimately what she wanted was revenge.
She points out that had she been put on a panel of sexual assault survivors, without processing the trauma she had experienced, she would have advocated for the death penalty for all rapists. She points out that that is no way to govern a society.

The answer cannot be to go around and use capital punishment against everyone who has harmed us.

I highly recommend listening to the entire podcast which has been linked to in the opening paragraph.

I bring this up because there is a movement within bicycle advocacy to weaponize the trauma experienced by bicyclists and use their trauma to make broad and sweeping laws to “protect” bicyclists. These people are living in trauma. I know because I used to be one of them. I commuted by bicycle daily, 32 miles round trip, and experienced wave after wave of cruelty and harm from people operating cars around me.
The trauma I experienced was real and I’m still processing through it. But I’ve come far enough in my personal growth to recognize that what we are fighting against is not individuals behind steering wheels. No. What we, as bicyclists are up against is a society that has built a system of White Supremacy into the very roads we operate on.

Justice, for us, is not stricter laws, it is not segregation, and it is not education as a stand-alone response to the trauma that we experience on public roads. What we need, as a community, is transformative justice. We need a society that prioritizes people over speed, communities over roads, and our humanity over infrastructure. We need to be treated as equal members of society, deserving of the same respect automatically granted to people operating motor vehicles.

And often, when we advocate for stricter laws, there is a rebound effect in which the police then use those laws, which were intended to protect us, to harm us.

We need to hold our elected officials accountable and we each need to process through our trauma, so that we can run for office and make the changes that we know to be just and fair to a society focused on equality.

People should not have to drive to get a gallon of milk. Kids should not grow up with glorified cartoons of automobiles as their introduction to our roads. Teenagers and young adults should not be wooed by slick films glorifying dangerous speeds and irresponsible driving. Does that mean that we banish these things or outlaw them? No!
It means that we educate parents to raise socially responsible children, school programs, high school volunteer programs and public PSA’s about the realities of speed and what happens to the human body, even when it is surrounded by a seat belt and steel, in a high-speed crash. We build walkable communities and we educate our police to be good examples, at least until we can abolish them altogether. Because a society that is ruled by the police is a society that is ruled by fear and fear is trauma.

We need programs for people who have transgressed basic laws to experience life on a bicycle. There should be training programs by certified bicycling instructors that allow motorists to travel their roads on a bike or a trike. We can implement stricter licensing requirements and require drivers to pass a bicycle operating equivalency test.

We can build up community and support for those who are harmed. City financed trauma counseling and recovery from harm programs, which center the needs of the victims. Allowing them to heal and return to society as whole people.

Our country was founded on the myth of white supremacy and it is this myth which frames our way of thinking. We need a fresh outlook and a new way of understanding the world around us. One of the ways to achieve these results will be to center victims of auto violence and find out what justice really looks like to them after they’ve had healing space to process through their trauma.

What is transformative justice? Read more about it here: Transformative Justice, Explained.

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Dear White Normative Man….

Fuck you!

As I was making my way home, I passed through White-Marts overly expansive auto squatting lot.

I scanned my way through welfare for auto’s and yielded to foot traffic as appropriate. Upon completing my turn into the home stretch lane, I scanned for male centrist autos driven by any person behind the wheel.

As I approached the stop sign, I witnessed a white pick up truck careening off the main road, his white truck bouncing over the curb, the rear end fishtailing as he hit the gas.

Visually calculating the distance, I knew there wouldn’t be time to make it through the squatting lot intersection and avoid the large white man who occupied the large white truck.

None of the rules applied to him.

He was normal.

I was not.

He gave me a white, shit eating grin, from behind the white whiskers framing his white face, as he sat behind the wheel of his white truck. His large white thumb sticking up in the oppressive air which surrounded him.

“Thank you for following the rules of the road,” his actions screamed, as he himself broke several.

Pedaling off from my power position, pedal up, as my weight propelled me forward.

I looked over my shoulder and signaled to him that he was indeed number one.

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Normative male centrist society, from which sprung forth the auto, has classified rules which dominate all others. By default, you and I are ‘other’.

The culture around “Those rule breaking bicyclists,” perfectly sums up a micro view of normative white culture.

My two disadvantages are being a woman on a bicycle. It irks me to no end when white men co-opt rape culture to ‘prove’ their victimization. Which isn’t to say that they can’t be victims of a crime. But they will never be a black man, woman, LGBTQ, and a victim of a crime

For that white man, he momentarily becomes other(ized) as he climbs on his bicycle. This other(ing) is brief and surface deep. Like dipping a toe in to test the temperature of the otherness water.

These men, who also invented the bicycle, before rapidly tossing it for the much more exclusionary auto, can not be the voice of bicycle advocacy.

They are, as a whole, crushing any forward momentum we have obtained.

Only recently have I found a few men, who have grasped the concept that you can not rationalize with the irrational and male culture is irrational, full stop.

People who drive, break as many “rules of the road” as anyone else who doesn’t drive. But Pedestrians and Bicyclists bear the brunt of being labeled a wanton rule breaker.

Any motorist, no matter their race or gender identity, is participating in, propping up, and re-establishing white normative culture as the default culture when they ‘other’ anyone traveling on foot or using alternative transportation, such as a bicycle.

 

 

Please take a few minutes to read this delightful article on why “The Straight, White, Middle-Class Man Needs to Be Dethroned.”

“Default Man feels he is the reference point from which all other values and cultures are judged. Default Man is the zero longitude of identities.”

Tactical Urbanism: Let there be light

Tactical urbanism is an umbrella term used to describe a collection of low-cost, temporary changes to the built environment, usually in cities, intended to improve local neighbourhoods and city gathering places.

Capitalism, Consumerism, and Auto Culture.

They all have at least one thing in common.

 

People.

Not just any people, these organizations are made up of people who get to decide, for us, what best suites the majority of people. If it doesn’t serve their bottom line of profit or enhance consumption, then it isn’t in their best interests and they will not pursue it, even if it means some people will suffer for their inaction.

That’s fine if we are talking about window dressing or paint color. But when people have the potential to be hurt by their inaction it is time to take action.

Priority and safety is the focus of moving auto’s from point A to point B. This is a huge financial drain on us and on our cities. Worse, those who directly benefit from increased auto use are the people who operate auto corporations, not the people driving on the street.

Street lights help people feel safe and that this is a direct benefit to the user. No one wants to jog along a dark street. Better street lighting encourages nighttime driving. Well lit streets give a community a feeling of ease and a sense of safety. Though there are some studies which show that increased lighting on well paved area’s doesn’t increase safety. But tell that to someone fumbling around in a dark parking lot or trying to make out street signs as they look for their friends house at 2 a.m.

Trails which move people on foot, bike, or wheelchair do not see the same safety measures given to those systems which have the greatest benefit to auto’s and those who directly benefit from selling you an auto. The real problem, as I see it, is incomplete or one sided education of our urban planners. People who don’t use the very trails they design or if they do use it, they don’t use it in the way that those most vulnerable are using the trails. Mainly during low light conditions. Students, working families, and/or anyone else who is tied up with the day to day cares of this world have the evening to enjoy the trails. Early morning commuters who want to enjoy a stress free commute, deserve quality trails. So why should they be left to stumble around in the dark?

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The post on the right.

When you have exhausted every avenue available to you. When your words fall on deaf ears. What is there left to do?

Shall we fold our hands and say “At least I tried.”

Did you try?

Is it possible that there is something more you can do?

Enter Tactical Urbanism.

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Creating safer communities through direct involvement.

When you’ve been told that the cost of installing lighting along the trail is too expensive. Or you’ve been told that it just isn’t feasible. What you are really hearing is “Your concerns are not important.”

But your concerns are important. You as an individual are important, both to yourself and to someone else. Taking a positive step to help those in your community is an act which is both selfless and selfish. By taking an active part in your community you are bettering it not only for yourself but for all of those around you.

Sometimes our city planners need us to show them the way. It’s not that they can’t figure it out. It’s that they don’t have the motivation to do the research that we have done.

Tactical Urbanism is one positive and friendly way to show them just how easy it is to install some lights.

I highly encourage you to take an active role in the betterment of your community. You can learn more about tactical urbanism from the original creators through this link: Here.

People need to feel connected to their community. This connection creates, not only a sense of belonging but also, a sense of responsibility. When people take responsibility for their community the direct benefit is a safer community. Isn’t that what we all want?

Speed: There is never an excuse for speeding

By now you should know that calling a crash an accident is a way of moving liability away from the person driving the vehicle.

Reading an article in CNN Money, I see a correlation between litigation and blaming the inanimate object. (Yes, you can draw an analogy about guns here too.)

There isn’t any such thing as an accident when it comes to auto collisions. Wet roads are no more to blame for your lead foot than an app is to blame for this horrific collision.

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Your steel cage is no match for the speed of the idiot behind the wheel.

“The plaintiff, Wentworth Maynard, was merging onto a four lane highway outside of Atlanta, Georgia when his car was struck “so violently it shot across the left lane into the left embankment,” his lawyers contend.”

 

Choices:

Everything you do is about choices. We make choices everyday. We choose to oversleep an alarm because we chose to stay up late. We choose to linger in the shower and we choose to speed under the false assumption that we can “make up time.”

When cycling advocates are educating you about light signals and how traffic is engineered to operate at a set speed, you chose to ignore us.

We make many minute and seemingly inconsequential choices everyday.

Which weighs more? A ton of feathers or a ton of bricks?

They both weigh the same. A ton. But the volume of feathers to create a ton is vast compared to the volume of bricks to equal the same tonnage.

Each feather is a seemingly inconsequential choice that you made throughout your day, week, year, and life. But when that ton of feathers hits you, it’s going to feel like a load of bricks.

Manufacturers and corporations make choices too.

I’m not saying that corporations don’t have a part to play in the choices we make. They most certainly do.

Snapchat chose to put out an app with the ability to capture your speed while using the app.

Auto advertisements show people driving in ways that are patently unsafe and they choose to pay a lot of money to have these ad’s placed during prime viewing times.

Here’s a scenario: You can read it in full detail here.

You’re driving down the road in your car on a wild and stormy night. The weather is like a hurricane, with heavy rains, high winds, and lightning flashing constantly. While driving, you come across a partially-covered bus stop, and you can see three people waiting for a bus:

  1. An old woman who looks as if she is about to die.
  2. An old friend who once saved your life.
  3. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about (your “soulmate”).

Knowing that you only have room for one passenger in your car (it’s a really small car), which one would you choose to offer a ride to? And why?

You can believe that you are limited by your choices or you can think outside the box.

We need to emphasize critical thinking skills when educating drivers and cyclists.

We also need to emphasize that speeding, distracted (any distraction) driving, and driving drowsy or drunk are choice’s and there isn’t ever an excuse for the choices we make. We are to blame when we make bad choices.

I mention the above scenario about the bus stop because I was confronted by an Atheist (I’m one too). He said that I was on some high horse and that there were definitely excuses for speeding. He then brought up a real situation in which he believed that his mother was dying and he sped to the hospital. He was pulled over and given a speeding ticket.

He then went on to justify his speeding by admitting that he was so distracted by his distress over the idea of his mother dying without him that he failed to notice the speed limit sign.

I tried to reason with him logically about public spaces and how his actions have direct consequences for others on public roads. He refused to acknowledge anything I was saying and launched into a personal attack instead. I saved the conversation and will present it in another blog at a future date. But for now, know that two of the deadliest weapons in history, the automobile and the gun, have even critical thinkers blathering emotionalism when it comes to their cherished beliefs. It truly defies logic.

There isn’t ever an excuse to justify speeding. Much like there isn’t an excuse to justify shooting someone who is unarmed. Corporations and manufacturers have a responsibility to the public at large. Snapchat has no excuse for putting out an app that encourages users to speed. Users have no excuse for choosing to use the app or for speeding.

When your choices affect others, you are duty bound to consider the consequences of your actions!

Public roads are shared space. You are required to share public roads with large vehicles, small vehicles, slower vehicles, and people on foot.

 

 

 

Motorist Awareness Wednesday: Parking Lots

No.

This is not a diatribe of vitriol aimed at the auto industry and their mechanised efforts at turning the world into one big patch of asphalt. (The auto industry is trying to turn the world into a giant parking lot. In case you didn’t know.)

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Less car = more shoppers!

No.

This isn’t a tree hugging, left leaning, liberal agenda designed to shame you into freeing up precious public space. (Though you should)

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Once you figure out how to unfold it, it’s cake to ride.

Yes.

This article is a refresher on a long standing law. One which the majority of the world has forgotten about. (Not entirely based on this picture.)

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Two auto’s can not legally share a lane.

Do you remember Extremist thinking is hurting cycling? If you have forgotten or if you have never read it, please do so. Now.

I’m basing this on KRS 189.00 (Kentucky Revised Statutes section 189 Rules of the Road). Your state will have similar statutes as these statutes are from the Uniform Traffic Code.

In the definitions of KRS 189.00 we see that a parking lot falls under the definition of a highway.

(3) “Highway” means any public road, street, avenue, alley or boulevard, bridge, viaduct, or trestle and the approaches to them and includes private residential roads and parking lots covered by an agreement under KRS 61.362, off-street parking facilities offered for public use, whether publicly or privately owned, except for-hire parking facilities listed in KRS 189.700.

A PARKING LOT IS  A HIGHWAY.

Every parking lot is governed by the same rules of the road that you obey on any other highway. You can be ticketed for breaking the speed limit in a parking lot. You can also be ticketed for driving on the wrong side of the road and failing to yield. In fact, anything you can be written a ticket for on a road, you can be given a ticket for in a parking lot.

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This is a highway.

KRS 189.390
(6) The speed limit for motor vehicles in an off-street parking facility offered for public use, whether publicly or privately owned, shall be fifteen (15) miles per hour.

In a parking lot you drive on the right as per KRS 189.300

You are not allowed to operate over 15 miles per hour. This is for the safety of pedestrians and people trying to park.

If it’s illegal, it isn’t safe AND if it’s legal, it is safe. This is the foundation of good laws. Bad laws discriminate. Good laws keep you safe without infringing on the rights of others.

Each parking space is a lane. It is intended for one vehicle. Stay in your lane. Vehicles come in all shapes and sizes. Some vehicles will not take up as much space as a huge SUV. That’s ok. That parking spot is theirs even if they don’t occupy every square inch of it.

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Occupying a full lane. What’s more wasteful? The auto taking up the space of 12 bicycles while carrying only one person? Or the bicycle carrying one person and leaving room for 11 more bicycles?

The center travel lane is well… a lane. Seems rather redundant but some people need that extra explanation. The center lane is an unmarked highway lane. So you follow both KRS 189.300 and KRS 189.310.

You drive on the right and give half the highway to oncoming traffic. You will operate as close as practicable to the right hand curb or boundary of the highway. You only need to be over far enough to allow passing traffic reasonable clearance. If you swap paint, one of you wasn’t over far enough.

RIGHT OF WAY!

When you are pulling out of a parking spot, you do not have the right of way. Think of a parking lane as though it were a side street entering into a main road. Imagine you have a stop or yield sign.

The person traveling on the main road may stop and yield to allow you to pull out. This is operating with due care.

KRS 189.290 Operator of vehicle to drive carefully.
(1) The operator of any vehicle upon a highway shall operate the vehicle in a careful manner, with regard for the safety and convenience of pedestrians and other vehicles upon the highway.

Driving across parking lots, that have vehicles parked in them, isn’t safe. There could be someone traveling up the road and you wouldn’t see them in time to prevent a collision. Follow the flow of traffic and observe ROTR (Rules Of The Road) statutes.

A lot of cyclists feel safe cycling in a parking lot.

A parking lot has hazards and shouldn’t be treated as a free for all.

Some people will use a parking lot as an example of the most dangerous portion of a road. They are right.
You have so much going on in a parking lot that if you aren’t paying attention you could get seriously hurt or worse.
People driving cars have double duty when in a parking lot. Pedestrians already present have the right of way. First come, first served, and duty of care. You don’t have special rights because you are in an auto. Public highways are level playing fields. You have to drive appropriately for conditions.

Above all else remember this.

PARKING LOTS ARE NOT A NO MAN’S LAND OF FREE FOR ALL’S! 

 

 

 

 

Mortality Monday: Our love affair with death.

“We, collectively, are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction.” – President Obama

Fallen comrade.

Some people like to play war. It’s their idea of fun to dress in camo, paint their faces, and run around using combat techniques. This can be seen mostly in the wildly popular paintball fields.

But our shared roads are not war zones or recreational war games. Our roads are public spaces and they should be treated as inclusive zones of human compassion and courtesy. Not war zones that we battle our way across or through.
With war there is death and the industry which has arisen out of that inevitable trip we all must take, but not before our time.

People appear to really enjoy death.

We get very emotional over death, are moved by death, and we are (sometimes) spurred into action because of death. Passionate volumes are written to the departed. People mass together and go for rides memorializing the dead. It’s macabre. Especially when you consider that we rarely do anything, if we do anything at all, to prevent death in the first place.

Why are we so inspired by death?

Death defying stunts don’t thrill us because we watched someone make it through alive. They thrill us because we might actually get to see someone die.

We’ve been outraged over the death of our loved ones for over a hundred years. We’ve offered our condolences, our thoughts, and our prayers.

But when it comes to making real and effective change we suddenly remembered that we have pressing business to attend to somewhere else.

Your “thoughts” should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your “prayers” should be for forgiveness if you do nothing – again.

— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) December 2, 2015

Life, celebrate it.

Losing a loved one is tough and it isn’t my intention to diminish the pain felt by those who must pick up the pieces and carry on after someone has had their life tragically cut short.

What I am suggesting is that we start celebrating life by taking action to protect the life we currently have.

I don’t want to see another ghost bike or white cross on the side of the road. I don’t want to participate in the “Ride of Silence.”

I want to see us focusing our energy on positive life affirming initiatives which promote the safety and well being of everyone.

EDUCATION.

There is plenty that we can do to help those who are alive and uninjured.

The first thing I want to do is encourage you to TAKE THE LANE!

The shoulder is not intended for travel, it is not continuous, and it is an EMERGENCY LANE!

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Skid marks. 
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The shoulder is gone!

I’ve ridden my bicycle on Versailles Rd (You can watch here) both on the shoulder and in the travel lane. When I used the travel lane I took an assertive lane position. I also used my rear light for added “eye catching” visibility, both on and off the shoulder. I didn’t feel safe either on the shoulder or in the lane. This is one of those monster roads which have no business existing. It was designed for high speed auto use only. Yet you will see pedestrians, cyclists, and horse and carriage on this road. Un-equitable use of public tax dollars.

Drivers are educated to swerve to the right and off the road to avoid a collision. They are also educated to pull to the right to take a call or make a text on their phone. Or if they are having a personal emergency. There are all kinds of distractions and the brain is not capable of handling more than one task at a time. You may look but you won’t see what is off to the side of you. Drivers are educated to see what is in front of them. Our brains are just not evolved enough to handle multi tasking in an auto.

When people take the time to accept responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming others for their faults, then we will have safe roads for all.

Until that time we need to educate people that the roads are public space and all users should be treated with equity.

When you are driving in the presence of a pedestrian or a cyclist, MOVE OVER AND SLOW DOWN! 

Give cyclists and pedestrians a Brake.

Legislation.

We have no problem understanding who’s at fault when a motorist rear ends another motorist. It’s a no brainer really. The person who hit the other vehicle is automatically found at fault. But when it comes to a motorist rear ending a cyclist. Well that leaves everyone scratching their heads or blaming the cyclist.

By educating cyclists to use safe cycling principals and to operate with the flow of traffic we are eliminating the prejudice that is inflicted on cyclists. When legislation exists which puts drivers in the position of having to prove that they did everything they could to avoid a collision with a pedestrian or a cyclist then we will have equitable legislation. The 1900’s approach of blaming the pedestrian or the cyclist is as old school and as prejudiced as Jim Crow laws.

Education isn’t victim blaming. Because drivers have to take an education course to obtain a license we assume that the driver is more educated than the cyclist, when the reality is that the opposite is true. By having mandatory education in schools and mandatory education on how to operate around cyclists in drivers training, we will effectively flip our way of thinking.

Infrastructure.

During the 1990s a new approach, known as ‘shared space‘ was developed which removed many of these features in some places has attracted the attention of authorities around the world.[25][26] The approach was developed by Hans Monderman who believed that “if you treat drivers like idiots, they act as idiots”[27] and proposed that trusting drivers to behave was more successful than forcing them to behave.[28]Professor John Adams, an expert on risk compensation suggested that traditional traffic engineering measures assumed that motorists were “selfish, stupid, obedient automatons who had to be protected from their own stupidity” and non-motorists were treated as “vulnerable, stupid, obedient automatons who had to be protected from cars – and their own stupidity”.[29]

Reported results indicate that the ‘shared space’ approach leads to significantly reduced traffic speeds, the virtual elimination of road casualties, and a reduction in congestion.[28]Living streets share some similarities with shared spaces. The woonerven also sought to reduce traffic speeds in community and housing zones by the use of lower speed limits enforced by the use of special signage and road markings, the introduction of traffic calming measures, and by giving pedestrians priority over motorists.

Shared space isn’t a new approach. But it is one which we seem loath to accept. Much like we hated the idea of sharing toys in kindergarten.

Not all space should be considered “shared” space except when there isn’t any other alternative. I’m thinking of rural roads and dense urban landscape as places which by default must be shared.

Places where we can have “Bikeways”* are places where we have the space to design infrastructure which equally caters to the specific needs of pedestrians and cyclists.

I never ever want to see a painted bike lane on the edge of a 55 mph highway. Like the one they talked about when I was being harassed by motorists and police for legally and safely cycling in the right hand lane of U.S. 27 in Jessamine Co. Kentucky.

*Bikeways: Unlike Bike lanes, Bike paths, and Cycle Tracks; Bikeways are mini highways for the exclusive use of cyclists. Bikeways are built to the same exact engineering standards of safety and rules of the road as a traditional public access highway. They are protected from auto traffic much like a Cycle Track but unlike Cycle Tracks they do not contra flow. There is plenty of urban space for Bikeways.

Bikeways have specific light cycles giving cyclists right of way at intersections. Unlike the average bike lane where most cyclists are victims of right hooks. The Bikeway also accounts for cyclists who need to make a left by giving them right of way during specific light cycles to make a protected left turn, much like a motorist has a light cycle to make a left. This is not to be confused with the Dutch approach of the pedestrian cross where the cyclist waits, moves forward, waits again before finally completing their left turn.

NO MORE DEATH.

Celebrate life and actively support those who are safely cycling on public roads. Even if it looks weird to you.

 

Take an education course.

Click here: Cycling Education

 

 

 

 

Motorist Awareness Wednesday KRS 189.390 (2) Speed part 2

KRS 189.390 (2) An operator of a vehicle upon a highway shall not drive at a greater speed than is reasonable and prudent, having regard for the traffic and for the condition and use of the highway.

Speed limits in URBAN zones.

A woman was killed on a residential street in Nicholasville KY. She was crossing her street when a driver fatally struck her.

According to Officer Grimes of Nicholasville PD, the motorist didn’t commit a crime until they fled the scene. Officer Grimes said “This could have just been a traffic accident. Where they didn’t see the individual or whatever may have happened.” In fact Officer Grimes attitude is the typical “Aw shucks. Accidents happen,” attitude so prevalent in law enforcement when it comes to driver on pedestrian crime.

While this is the opinion of a few poorly educated law enforcement officials. Is it what the statute in Kentucky actually says?

Kentucky’s traffic statutes are directly from the Uniform Vehicle Code and they are pretty basic. Every state follows these basic laws. Some states have rewritten the UVC to narrow the scope of its definitions. This can be good in that it takes something which could be interpreted one of two ways and plainly says what the intention of the law is. It can be bad in that if it is too narrowly defined you could be breaking the law and not know it.

URBAN ZONES

Urban zones are areas of built up infrastructure. They include residential, businesses, and mixed use. In towns and cities with good city planning and zoning laws, you will find sidewalks, clearly marked pedestrian crossings, and lower speed limits.

The absence of pedestrian friendly infrastructure is not an excuse for striking a pedestrian with your auto.

Speed limits in Kentucky are statutorily set and can be reduced by petitioning the State Secretary of Transportation.

KRS 189.390(3) The speed limit for motor vehicles on state highways shall be as follows, unless conditions exist that require lower speed for compliance with subsection (2) of this section, or the secretary of the Transportation Cabinet establishes a different speed limit in accordance with subsection (4) of this section:
(a) Sixty-five (65) miles per hour on interstate highways and parkways;
(b) Fifty-five (55) miles per hour on all other state highways; and
(c) Thirty-five (35) miles per hour in a business or residential district.
(4) (a) If the secretary of transportation determines, upon the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation, that any speed limit is greater or less than is reasonable or safe under the conditions found to exist at any intersection, or
upon any part of a state highway, the secretary of transportation may establish
by official order a reasonable and safe speed limit at the location.

While the state has set the “official” maximum statutorily to 35 mph, it should be noted that the bulk of residential roads are officially set to 25 mph. Where residences and business’ are mixed the speed limit will fluctuate between 25 mph to 35 mph.

When signage indicates that the speed limit has increased to 35 mph from 25 mph, this is not a license to speed freely through. You are still charged to operate your vehicle with due care.

It is not reasonable or prudent to assume that there are no pedestrians present in a business zone. Especially if the business zone is adjacent or abuts to a residential zone.

Speeding, so much as one mile over the speed limit, has a citation code.

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If you can’t stop your vehicle in time to avoid striking a pedestrian, you are traveling too fast for road conditions.

The person who killed the mother in Nicholasville should have, had they actually stopped and rendered aid, been charged with speeding and reckless driving.

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189.390 (2) Driving too fast for traffic conditions is a crime.
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189.338 (1B) Failure to yield right of way to pedestrian

Every intersection, whether clearly marked or not, is a pedestrian crossing and you are required to approach these at a prudent speed.

KRS 189.00 has defined intersections as follows:

 

When operating a motor vehicle in urban zones, it is always best practice to operate a few miles below the posted speed limit.

If it is dark out or if conditions prevent you from having clear visibility, it is always best practice to reduce your speed. You should travel at a speed which allows you to react quickly should something suddenly appear before you.

It goes without saying that drinking and driving do not mix. Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Distracted driving and drowsy driving are as bad as drunk driving.

I believe that if people drove their autos with as much care as is actually required to operate them, not only would we have fewer collisions but we would have fewer people eager to drive. Driving is hard work and requires your full attention. Your brain needs to be focused on the task at hand.

Watch video here. Officer Grimes interview and the description below is on the second video in the link.

You can see the 25 mph speed limit behind the reporter. Note the drivers they catch on film speeding through at 35 mph.

The myth that you can operate 10 mph over the speed limit before the police will do anything is just that, a myth. Where this myth gains momentum and becomes established as reality, is when our law enforcement takes a winking attitude towards people who speed.

Kentucky’s statutes clearly charge drivers to operate at speeds which are prudent for the conditions they are in.