accidents just happen

kylie

This is Kylie Bruehler. Her sad face doesn’t quite match her playful dress. She’s sad because she’s at a funeral for both her parents. Her parents were killed on October 1st when a driver veered his truck off the road and struck them while they were taking a morning ride on a tandem bicycle.

According to the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, no charges will be filed against the driver because “They believe this was an accident and that somehow the driver lost control of his truck.”

This is where I get very, very angry.

Every day millions of Americans drive around in cars. I’m fine with this. I drive my own very often. I do ride a bike to work as much as I can, but I’m no crazy car hater. But I do feel that American car culture has taken what is essentially a two ton steel block on wheels and made it into a God-given right of every citizen.

Let’s look at this situation. A man driving a very large truck “accidentally loses control of his truck.” In doing so, two people are killed. One instantly, one given the gift of suffering for a few hours. Now, it seems to me that if you wield something poorly, and it ends up killing two people, at the very least you should probably not wield said object any more.

If I was at home with my shotgun, and I “accidentally lost control” of it, and it killed both my son and wife, I wonder if the Sheriff’s Office would charge me with anything. I wonder if they would say it was an accident. After all, why should I be expected to ALWAYS be in control of my shotgun when it’s in my hands? Oh right, because it’s a tool that can have lethal implications whenever it’s in use. Good thing cars aren’t like that at all!

Why not take this person’s driving privileges away for the rest of his life? Can’t do that? Then how about a couple years? But no, this guy will be allowed right back on the road the very next day. His privilege to drive is deemed more important than the lives of two people.

The driver was given a license. The premise of the license is that the state is saying you are able to control a motor vehicle. This driver has proven that he is unable. Why does he still have a license?

If he had veered his truck to the left, and struck oncoming traffic, he would have gotten a ticket for wreckless driving and been deemed at fault for the accident. But because he veered his truck right, and only hit a couple people on a bike, it’s no one’s fault. Where the fuck is the logic in that?

You can find stories like this all over America. If a car gets hit by a car, it’s another accident, someone is faulted, someone pays, sometimes people even get jailed. If you hit a pedestrian or a cyclist, it’s a tragic accident, but by golly that’s just life. Everyone go on about your business.

The point of my ranting is this: a car is a serious piece of equipment. It kills over 100 people a day. We need to start treating it like what it is. There is no God-given right to drive. If people show they can’t use a car responsibly, we need to take it away from them.

  • Big Sis

    I fully agree. Every time an old person kills a pedestrian or construction worker, they call it an accident, too. Seriously prejudicial. Guess we live in a car society, and its not fair.

  • Electric Prophet/Nathan

    Damn, that’s tragic. Seriously? Why doesn’t news like this get reported nationally? Or did I just miss the memo? That Sheriff should lose his badge and his balls, what right does he have to say that the life of those two was any less important than that man’s right to drive? Heck, we take away licenses for much less such as driving while intoxicating too many times, but when two people die we just drop our pants and get into bed with the driver. That is seriously messed up.

  • http://www.bikecommuters.com Ghost Rider

    I really like your shotgun analogy — it’s spot-on.

    This story, and so many stories like it, makes me sick to my stomach…when will we learn that driving is a privledge, not a right? And when will motorists be held accountable for their actions?