Baldwin Hills crash: Why blame the cyclists?
Daredevil cyclists deserve our condemnation. They should be held responsible for violating traffic laws, and in a perfect world, they'd feel bad that their behavior not only creates a dangerous environment for everyone on the road but also gives fellow cyclists a bad rap. (Imagine if we condemned all drivers for the actions of a few who blow through red lights or drive under the influence?)
Last week's Baldwin Hills incident, in which a suspected drunk driver crashed into cyclists, injuring 11, has sparked another debate in the ongoing battle between motorists and cyclists. Readers commenting on latimes.com were quick to point out that the cyclists were on a so-called Midnight Ridazz ride, which has a punk rock reputation and doesn't always attract squeaky clean riders.
Nevertheless, it seems unfair to crucify the cyclists without knowing if they've done anything wrong. And, as cyclist Mikey Wally points out in an article by Howard Blume:
Motorists have valid complaints against individual cyclists who don't follow road rules or common courtesy […] but regardless of fault, a cyclist nearly always loses in a collision with a car.
Blume's article also points to a powerful argument made by the advocacy group Bikeside: How much more could the cyclists have done to make them visible to the oncoming car?
Read on for screenshots and captions that further defend the cyclists.
--Alexandra Le Tellier
Photo: A small crowd stands at the scene where officials said a car drove into a group of cyclists. Credit: KTLA-TV Channel 5