some say accidents happen... I say accidents can be avoided

some say accidents happen...
I say accidents can be avoided

an 11 year old boy was killed trying to ride his bike to school in Grand Rapids

in my travels on the bike the response I get from car drivers is recurring
aside from the aggressive passes too fast and too close
there are also the gestures and the faces
the drivers speak to me with their body language as they pass
not just the body language of their cars
but the body language of their actual bodies behind the wheel
there is obvious intentional non verbal communication going on here

appalled! the drivers are appalled!
the look on their face if a cyclist runs a red light or a stop sign
angered and appalled!

when the car driver is breaking the law every time they step on the gas
speeding... always speeding... never averaging anything near the speed limit
and stop signs and red lights?
car drivers are worse than cyclists when they roll through stop signs and blow through yellow lights
yet if the bicycle is not within the limits of the law they are ready to throw the book at them
run them over first... then throw the book at them

why? the cyclists has taken in the variables
accessed things
seen where they fit into the chaos
while the car drivers are the chaos never realizing their contribution to the chaos

the cyclist has also weighed the consequences
while the car drivers move about ignorantly not knowing their contribution to the madness

a bicycle is different than a car
the worst case scenario is not the same
so the penalty should not be the same

this goes for all other bicycle related violations

until the laws protect the bicycle
the laws do not apply to the bicycle

I get the same level of disregard when I am within the limits of the law as when I am breaking the law
my right to space and my right to life are ignored
at a four way stop... if I stop I am not factored into the equation
if my turn is not given to me it is up to me to take it

the streets are unsafe
we must know the risks
and we must work to make them more safe to prevent the worst case scenario
it saddens me that this child died
an accident that could have been avoided
had the cars drivers been more alert and driving more respectfully of the world around them this death would have never happened
my heart goes out to the friends and family of this small boy
this did not need to happen


Ghost with a Bicycle by Matt Harbicht

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