Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Blame the victim

An article in the Madison, Wisconsin "Capital Times" tells of a cyclist who, while riding a bike path and crossing at an intersection with the light, was cut off by a panel truck that didn't see him. The cyclist hit his brakes hard, went over the handlebars, and ended up having his head run over by the truck. The helmet probably saved the man's life, leaving him with only a concussion while the truck drove off.

An astonishing story, to be sure, but what was even more astonishing is in the comments on the website after the story. Very quickly, there were comments from truck drivers that blamed the cyclist. One even went so far as to say that the incident was a hoax, most likely perpetrated by the bike helmet manufacturer.

Do you drivers hate us cyclists so much that you cannot treat us like human beings? Or perhaps you are so isolated and safe, wrapped within your tons of steel with the volume up on the radio and a Starbuck's coffee in the beverage holder, that everything outside has been reduced to an abstract concept. Not actual people but cars, bicycles and faceless pedestrians.

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