As a lawyer representing victims, I have had a disturbing look into road violence. We’ll never have safe streets until we change four baseless ideas.
Anger is rising in our streets and parks, and we are moving into another year of “us versus them.” Why are we pitting police against cyclists, cyclists against pedestrians, and adding unnecessary tension that distracts from the real problem? Road fatalities are simply not occurring in parks; they are happening on our roads at an alarming rate.
As a lawyer representing victims, I have had a disturbing look into road violence. My engineers analyze the scene, and my private investigators obtain video evidence. I examine drivers and I find out if charges are laid.
From my perspective, we’ll never have safe streets unless politicians and the driving public change what is a “car culture” — one based on principles that have little or no foundation. They are created so that we can accept (and digest) the volume of death on our streets. Four ideas prevail:
- Car accidents happen and generally no one is to blame.
- Excessive speed is dangerous but speeding itself is not.
- A driving license is a right, not a privilege.
- Streets are for cars.
None of these are true. We value life, but for some reason if the violence arises from someone behind a wheel, we chalk it up to just another accident.