Five Dead

Five Dead

By now you’ve seen the news reports that a man in a pickup truck hammered into a group ride, killing five riders and injuring another four. Nine riders down. It’s unlike anything any of us have heard in our lives. I know people who have ridden in that part of Michigan and they are as you would expect, devastated by the news. The geography doesn’t matter. We should all be shocked by the carnage.

I’ve tried to gain some perspective on this, thinking about group rides I’ve done in the past. I’ve done group rides with more than 100 riders and you couldn’t have removed five riders without removing a friend of mine. The depth of this pain in that community will never heal.

News reports say the driver, a 50-year-old male, was operating the pickup erratically and had already been reported to police in multiple calls prior to the crash. We don’t know yet if the underlying factor in his driving was DUI or something else, but statistically, extended erratic driving is usually not caused by anger or a medical condition.

What I find especially chilling about this tragedy is how many news reports include a statement from the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club’s safety director, Paul Selden. He was quoted saying, “What I have seen of these riders in the past and the way [they] organize the rides, they always were led in a safe manner.” 

There’s an undercurrent here, one that cyclists constantly need to dispel—that we may be responsible for our demise, as if riding can get you killed. It’s a variety of victim blaming that doesn’t receive enough pushback.

Let me be frank: I’ve been a member of group rides that behaved in ways that embarrassed me, made my rethink my participation. I’ve stopped at red lights only to be screamed at by other riders for not following the group. And there were other times when I followed the group and thought, “I could never justify this to my wife from a hospital gurney.” I avoid rides like that now in an effort to better my odds, but that’s just me.

I mention this for an important reason. Idiotic behavior by any cyclist doesn’t matter. It’s utterly irrelevant. Nothing any cyclist does justifies running them over with a two-ton hunk of metal. Nothing. There’s nothing that a cyclist can do that absolves a driver of the responsibility to avoid hitting a cyclist. Sure, riders have done things and will continue to do things that have made striking them unavoidable, but no amount of two-wheeled idiocy frees a motorist from the obligation to try to avoid said idiot—you have to try. Not hitting things is a fundamental responsibility of anyone operating a vehicle and goes to the heart of licensing. All license holders are alleged to understand that you don’t hit things.

No hitting. It’s the same deal as kindergarten, right?

So as we work to convince the world that hitting a cyclist is a “crash” and not an “accident” we must also begin the process of educating the world that just as short skirts don’t cause rape, the manner in which a cyclist rides does not cause cars to hit them.

Our hearts go out to the bereaved. We owe it to all the deceased and injured to educate those who don’t ride.

 

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51 comments

  1. wayno

    After waking up to this news on the radio, I googled it and went to mainstream news outlets as it was not popping up in cycling media yet. After finishing the article on a local MI Fox news site, I hesitated before I read the comments thinking to myself I should not read them.

    And I was right, The amount of hatred towards cyclists vs empathy for the victims/families was about 4:1. The old standards were listed such as “they run stop lights and signs, they take up the enitire road, they don’t belong on roads, I pay gas taxes” etc. Not sure what we as a community need to do, but whatever we are doing in terms of advocacy is not working on the general public when it comes to respecting life when it is perched on a bike on the road.

    And ss always, well said Patrick.

    1. Andre

      We need to begin by advocating and insisting that a few simple questions be answered correctly at licensing and license renewals. Before long, every driver will know!!
      1. Do bicycles have equal rights to the road?
      2. What distance must an automobile driver give a bicycle when passing?
      3. Is it illegal to harass or collide with a bicycle?

      Simple as it sounds, a great number of drivers do not know these truths!!

  2. AG

    Until the term “accident” is erased from the rhetoric, guilt will always be presumed on the part of the cyclist. When written-up, a cyclist crashes into a car, tree or other person. But, a car is involved in an accident with a cyclist. Motor vehicle traffic laws need to be written in such a way that the fault will be placed on the (human) driver first, as he/she bears the burden of keeping others safe around them. Drivers need to be put on notice that investigations of such incidents will begin with a full investigation of the drivers, their cell phone records, past histories and any prior circumstances (arguments with the spouse which might lead to angry driving).

    If at-fault drivers can repeatedly avoid guilt with the usual “they came out of nowhere”, “they were riding in the middle of the road”, “the car just accelerated I don’t know why”, (etc. etc) kinds of defenses, and those defenses continue to be accepted by the justice system, we will continue to read about these kinds of tragedies.

    There are extraordinarily few true accidents. Something that could have been prevented precipitates virtually every incident. But I’m afraid it will take a sea change in our cultural attitude to make any difference at all.

  3. Dan

    On hard days like these I find statistics comforting – when a plane crashes, you’re still safer boarding the next one than shredding your ticket and renting a car – and when some jackhole commits vehicular homicide on a group of bike riders, you’re still safer heading out on your own two-wheesls to clear the old heart and lungs than packing it in for a life of couch-surfing and Cheetos.

    The bell tolls a million different ways – but life must go on. It is the human condition.

    My heart goes out to the victims’ families – let’s all take this opportunity to double-down on our investment in lobbying for stiffer DUI penalties and bicycle safety outreach – and to flip the language of “accident” as Padraig says – cars don’t kill riders by themselves, its a human’s intentional misconduct and irresponsibility that kills riders.

  4. Shawn

    Most crashes are accidents, i.e. unintended, but that doesn’t make these accidents blameless. Drivers (and cyclists) may either be negligent or fail to take ‘due care’. I think what infuriates is the the default way blame is put on cyclists for being on the road. Altering the rhetoric away from accidents and towards crashes will not change this. We need a campaign to alter the cultural outlook whereby roadway users are made to acknowledge their responsibility for the safety of all others they encounter on the road.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      The problem with the term “accident” is that in current English usage, “accident” connotes a lack of responsibility, that no one person is culpable, that events played out without significant input from human beings, that the end result wasn’t avoidable. And all that is complete BS. We can’t permit anyone to use the term accident when a cyclist is struck by a car. In every instance that crash was avoidable. Using the term “crash” eliminates the notion that a dead cyclist is a blameless event. How we talk about things signifies how we think about things. The language we use matters.

    2. CROYSKI

      Padraig, you are absolutely, unequivocally incorrect that a collision involving a car and a cyclist is always avoidable. I personally witnessed such an incident last summer- on a wide, 2 lane, busy road, with the car in front of me giving wide berth to a man riding just outside the breakdown lane. Without warning (no hand signal, no look over his shoulder, etc), the cyclist veered to the left- directly into the path of the car in front of me. There was NO way for her to have avoided hitting the man on the bike.

      That being said, I fully support the rights of bicyclists to share the road with cars. I’ve been to Europe, I’ve seen how well it can work.

      My deepest sympathies to the friends and families of those riders that were killed in this incident.


    3. Author
      Padraig

      Point taken. That was sloppy writing in that comment. What I should have written was that many collisions are avoidable and that a driver always has a duty to attempt to avoid a crash.

  5. Alan

    I’ve probably said it here before, but we need a national campaign to change perception. Similar to what MADD did 25 or more years ago to change the perception about drunk driving. They helped push the realities of death and consequence in the public’s face, from high schools to PSAs.

  6. Ron

    We were in Mississippi in March and were pleasantly surprised to see the following public service video on Hattiesburg TV. This video was produced and funded by the Mississippi Department of Transportation and is used on the changelanestopass website to educate drivers to give 3 feet when passing.. I don’t know what the blowback was from this campaign from the usual haters. But Mississippi! We think we are so advanced in Wisconsin. Not so.

    https://vimeo.com/147790658

  7. A.

    I find myself drawing parallels between these crashes and rape, and then back again. Nothing a cyclist does justifies them dying, and it’s fucked up to even claim that they have. I’m not always a fan of Lena Dunham, but in the wake of the Stanford debacle, she has released a PSA that basically says “don’t not rape because a girl belongs to someone (daughter, niece, sister, wife, girlfriend), and instead, choose not to rape because she is someone. She is someone.”

    Long story short: perhaps if the cycling community begins released Internet PSAs about how every cyclist is SOMEONE, maybe the human toll will drop. Every cyclist is a human being. Every cyclist has a life, a story… Perhaps it’s time to start sharing those.

    My heartfelt condolences go out to the families, friends and communities of these riders. The tragedy is only compounded by the complete preventability of this. :/

  8. Chad

    The laws of physics always trump motor vehicle laws.
    I mourn for the loss of life caused by this incident.
    I grew up riding a bicycle, it was my main transportation from the time I was 7 years old until I had a car of my own. I lived in a rural area on a busy highway. I was taught “stop, look and listen” before crossing a street in a cross walk. I was taught that if I was hit by a car it was probably my fault. I did many foolish things on a bicycle, but challenging motor vehicles to demonstrate the size of my cajones was not one of them. Dealing with motor vehicles as thought they were large, mean, hungry, carnivorous animals saved my bacon more than once.
    Road rage is experienced by more than 50% of drivers today. The top 7 triggers for road rage are: Heavy traffic or gridlock,
    Feeling stressed, Construction delays or detours, Distracted driving, Loud music, Slow driving, Making obscene gestures to other drivers. To how many of these 7 causes do cyclists contribute?
    Definition of road rage. : a motorist’s uncontrolled anger that is usually provoked by another motorist’s (cyclist’s?) irritating act and is expressed in aggressive or violent behavior.
    Right or wrong, cyclists should avoid coming in to close proximity with drivers experiencing road rage, much less doing the things that may aggravate an already aggravated driver.
    Cycling organizations need to band together and find a way to cycle more safely among these large, mean, hungry, carnivorous animals for if cyclsts don’t address the problems, the government will, and cyclists will not like that outcome … not one bit.

    1. Polliwog

      How do I know whether the driver coming out of a junction is angry? If I yell at him/her to let them know I am there, why should that trigger road rage, especially when I’m trying to prevent an incident? Why is it the cyclists responsibility to avoid an angry motorist? Why doesn’t the angry motorist take responsibility for their action, or even better, realize they are angry and shouldn’t be on the road or take their anger out on a cyclist or pedestrian or other road user? Would you be saying the same thing it if were a driver of an 18 wheeler bearing down on a motor cycle or a driver of a mini cooper? We need to hold all road users accountable for their actions. If their actions are deliberate, inattentive, reckless, etc., then they should be cited accordingly. This whole “unfortunate accident” is bull. If the driver/operator has broken the law and their violation has resulted in a incident, then it is not an accident.

    2. Rocky

      You were taught that if you were hit by a car, that it was probably your own fault! Really, before it even happened and without knowing the facts?

      Also, anyone can feel what they feel, but their behavior is a whole different thing. “Motorists uncontrollable anger” that’s B.S. A motorist in that so called state needs to give up their license…period! That sort of driver is a hazard to all other road users.

      Should we talk about what the driver did right now?

  9. Leeza

    As a female and a cyclist, I’m disappointed by your rape parallel. Drivers kill bikers by accident, either out of ignorance or because they’re not paying attention. Of course, they should be held accountable but the intention is completely different. No one behind the wheel says “I’m going to kill that biker,” just like rapists don’t say “I didn’t see her, she was in the turning lane and I didn’t know the rules, I feel terrible.” Rapists are predators, drivers are ignorant. Huge difference.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      You seem to be missing truth of the rather significant parallel, that victims of rape and cyclists struck by drivers share in common a recurring theme of victim blame. If, somehow, you think that rape is more serious than death, I suggest in the strongest possible terms that you give your position further consideration. Rape is awful, but death is certainly worse. I have some experience in this realm; my sister was raped and today my sister is dead, though those two details are not really related. She was harmed irrevocably by her rape, but at least I still had a sister. In death, I no longer have a sister.

  10. Brady

    While I agree with everything you said, the fact remains that riding on the road increases the risk of getting hit by a vehicle. Whether by drunk, distracted, enraged driver, faulty equipment. Whether it’s irresponsible driving or irresponsible riding…blame really doesn’t matter when you’re dead. Sure, a more positive public perception of cyclists couldn’t hurt, but I don’t think these accidents are typically due to to drivers running down cyclists because don’t like them.

    I do not believe that this is a matter of public perception as much as a matter of mathematical probability.

    Part of the nature of traffic is that there will be accidents or crashes. It’s a logical inevitability. So we gamble our lives on our right to ride on the road. We assume everyone will be paying attention and that everyone is a response driver. We choose to place our lives, blindly in the hands of anyone and everyone that decides to take a drive (licensed or not) because we have the right to be there and the right to be safe.

    Put it this way; a person has a right not to be attacked by a shark, right? If a person goes surfing in sharky waters and gets attacked by a shark, who’s to blame? The shark that probably just thought the poor sap was a sea lion, or the surfer who was always taught that sharks don’t mean to eat people…its just by accident?

    None of this really matters because the surfer is dead. The damage is done.

    I don’t know what the solution is (gravel grinder anyone?), but I do know one thing: sharks don’t eat mountain climbers.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      It’s true that you assume a certain inherent risk by choosing to ride on the road. That does not, however, subject you to the assumption that you deserve to be hit just because you were on the road. We have a duty to all cyclists to fight back against the idea that we are in the way when we are on the road. As to comparing a shark to a driver who hits a cyclist, it’s a completely false equivalence because the shark was never, ever under any obligation not to bite anything it comes in contact with. People have zero right to expect not to be bitten by a shark because a shark is under zero obligation not to bite a swimmer. Drivers are always under an obligation not to hit things: people, other cars, buildings, gas pumps, you name it.

    2. Phil H

      If you want to use statistics, and treat it like a game of Russian roulette where you are spinning the chamber and pulling the trigger every time you go out on your bicycle then consider this. The difference in accident rates and death on the roads in the US is about 4 or 5 times higher in the US than it is in the UK. Why is that? Rhetorical question but I would much prefer to play Russian roulette with a 20 chamber gun than a 5 chamber gun. What I’m saying is there is so much opportunity for improved safety on our roads by more conscientious driving and riding. I do not accept it as being subject to fate with a fixed probability. By their very behavior, all road users subconsciously or otherwise choose to increase or lessen their odds of being involved in an accident. Some states and counties post their accident statistics throughout the year as a reminder to road users about overall driving performance. Awareness of accident avoidance is surely helpful in lieu of road uses weaving in and out of traffic to get 2 cars ahead by the next traffic light or blowing stop signs and red lights to save a few seconds.

    3. Scotty

      I choose carefully where i ride and even though i have a right to ride in some places i don’t.
      i have been skittles and lucky i had a helmet on is all I can say.
      The attending police said that your chances of being hit again are the same as before so not comforting….

      My friend runs a large tunnel in the city where I live he thinks any cyclist is mad to get on a bike from what he has viewed over the years….

      What do we do? I want to ride, I want to be safe I want all cyclists to come home and I never want to see a bulletin like this ever again!

  11. Brady

    People have the absolute right not to be bitten by a shark and exercise that right by not getting in the water. People choose to place themselves in the situation, creating the potential. Obligation has nothing to do with it. All the law and obligation in the world cannot guarantee that a steering wheel won’t be pointed in a cyclists direction. It IS going to happen. Despite perception or obligation. You must take responsibility for yourself. The only solution is to make it mechanically impossible for the vehicle to hit the cyclist. Don’t swim with the sharks. Perfect analogy.

    1. Doug

      Great another example of removing the responsibility from the driver – we have created a nation where people have no responsibility for their actions when behind the wheel of a car.

  12. Peter Dedes

    Had an incident 4 years ago in Waterloo Region where a pickup hauling a trailer deliberately swerved into a group of cyclists as he passed them. The driver was charged with dangerous driving instead of assault with intent. A number of riders were also charged with traffic violations. Until the onus for collisions is placed upon motorists, they will continue to hit us with trivial outcomes for the driver.

    I would love a simple rule, hit a cyclist ( or other vulnerable road user) lose your car. Kill a cyclist, go to jail.

    1. Phil H

      Yes, being buzzed by motor vehicles even when riding the shoulder is common enough to warrant concern as it is dangerous, reckless and illegal.

  13. Mark

    To anyone who reads this I was involved in a very similar situation 12 years ago. A group of cyclists were stopped at an intersection waiting for traffic to clear when a car “thought he could cross” before a south bound car T-boned him and sent the car spinning into us just standing there. While we had no casualties we have for ever been changed by the incident. A car is a deadly weapon when not used properly. It’s a shame that more people don’t realize this and the impact they have getting behind the wheel.

    If any family members or friends from this horrible tragedy read these comments, let’s be more focused on giving them support to find a little bit of comfort. The anger comes far too quick when you are searching for answers. I still loses my temper far too easily when I see a driver do something that they don’t realize can be deadly. For the survives i hope you have friends and family to lean on and get through this very difficult time in your life.

    I truely sympathies with your situation and send you nothing but hope that you can get through this tragedy

  14. eric wilhelm

    Wow five dead and you spend half the article bemoaning some group rides that run stop signs.
    Unbelievable!
    Yeah one time a man of color robbed a bank..so now all men of color are criminals?!
    Do you work for Fox news on the side?
    Your article should have reinforced that evil humans like this driver of the truck should be penalized to the full extent of the law.
    Instead you whine about your own personal experiences that frankly are appropriate for another blog..Not this one.

  15. Tom in Albany

    People err. We are imperfect creations. The only way to attempt to insure drivers don’t hit anyone/anything, is to eliminate drivers and put in place systems that, after verification, can, to a very high degree of certainty, avoid those items and in an emotionless way.

    Computers don’t have road rage.

    I’ll miss driving a car but the self-driving car is probably the only way to eliminate most on-road incidents.

  16. Brady

    It sounds like you guys think that cyclists should be untouchable. Free of any and all potential responsibility for any and all actions. Hubris.

    I am in absolute agreement that no bicycle rider “deserves” to get run down because of any possible action they might take as a cyclist, be it running an intersection or diving through traffic like a San Francisco bike messenger. This is irresponsible behavior but certainly not worthy of the death penalty. Totally agree. But in no way can we hold drivers accountable for accidentally hitting a cyclist engaging in this behavior simply on the basis that they were the ones driving the car. Obviously it’s not black and white. Of course a driver has a responsibility to try to avoid an accident. Of course a drunk driver should be held accountable and punished for hitting a cyclist due to their inability to maintain control of their vehicle. But to say that any and all cyclists engaged in any and all action should be free of any and all responsibility is a very elitist and narrow perspective. I’d be willing to bet that most of these accidents are caused by the driver. Most cyclists I see on the road ride where they are supposed to and follow the rules, but I guarantee that there are incidents where the cyclist should be 100% held responsible for an accident. The author said it himself: “Sure, riders have done things and will continue to do things that have made striking them unavoidable…”

    As for the word “accident”; most of these so called crashes ARE accidents! I am sure there are incidents where the driver does have malicious intent. In that case you can call it a crash or murder or whatever you want. However, If someone tells me they were in an accident, I always ask “who’s fault was it?” The word accident just means that no one intended for it to happen. In my 38 years of speaking english (however poorly), I have never heard the authors definition of the word accident in that it absolves all parties of guilt or blame. Not until I read this article.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      I think you’re misreading the post as well as the comments. Cyclists aren’t without responsibility. No one would argue that, at least no reasonable person. The point is that even if a cyclist does something stupid, at no point does their stupidity suddenly give a driver free reign to run them down. As to the use of the word “accident,” there is a connotation in its use with the police and the mainstream media that associates it with blameless events. RKP isn’t the only outlet to address this problem in usage.

    2. Christopher Underwood

      Young Drivers of Canada, one of the best driving schools in the world, flat out refuses to use the word accident because every single car crash can be avoided if people driving drive properly and don’t screw up. People do screw up however. But just because someone screws up does not mean that suddenly the crash was an accident. Unintended yes, but an accident? No. Intended or not, the person who crashes is responsible.

      Don’t care what vehicle you use. You crash? You are responsible. Traffic systems only work if we cooperate.

  17. AG

    Just read the above news article. So if we are to believe the defense attorney, she was using her phone, put it down, had her eyes fully on the road, hands on the wheel at 10 and 2, and just “somehow” plowed into the cyclist lost control, and then head on into a motorcyclist. I’m sure she has no idea how it all happened. The cyclist just came out of nowhere, right? Honestly, I don’t know how the DA and her attorney can sleep at night. Absolute bullshit. Like I said before, it will take a sea change in our cultural attitude towards driver’s actions before anything changes. Until that happens there is no incentive for drivers to act in a pro-actively defensive manner.

  18. Marcos Mota

    I disagree. I quit reading at ‘nothing a cyclist does justifies their being struck and killed.’ Sorry, it does not work that way. I am a New Yorker and I ride in seriously busy traffic on major streets. I have no problem insulting idiotic cyclists. I don’t really care if you’re a sixty-year-old riding up hill into my path on 5th Avenue.— a one way street with rate of 5,000 cars per hour.

    If I make a riding mistake or fail to maintain my bike, I fully expect to be run over an killed by any driver who cannot safely stop or change lanes. I would rather end up as road paint than cause a driver to set off a pile-up that gets other people killed or made disabled. I recently descended Morongo Canyon in south-eastern California. Since it was a hike-and-ride, I was carrying a camping backpack with 30+ pounds of gear. In preparation for one of the turns, I moved far to the right of my lane. Three drivers behind me saw it as an opportunity to join me, in my lane, and pass me. I hate the fact that they did not honk (especially the third one), but I understood why they did that and I was OK with it. If you want to mix it up with the big boys, that’s what you need to deal with. While riding over highway 95 on the same trip, I bailed off the road and over the rumble strip, to let loaded semi trucks stay in lane and pass me safely. Had I been clipped into my bike, I could have easily ended up as road paint. Again, if you can’t mix it up with the big boys, stay off the road or take a bike path.

    No one but you should be responsible for your skill set or the condition of your bike. Some people are too cheap, idiotic, or poor to have lights and a properly maintained machine. Some people cannot ride straight at 20MPH and look backward for the hazard coming up behind them. Some people don’t have the self control to stop pedaling and let the bigger and loaded vehicles pass them without having to cut wide.

    Finally, I feel for those men and don’t presume to know all the circumstances of their horrific accident. I simply have a strong opinion about how you absolved cyclists of any blame.

    1. DannyX

      My feeling is that the argument from physics doesn’t address the main problem with our transportation system: it’s too damned easy to die from it. Why should we be complacent about a world where careless drivers cause all non-car drivers to be one misstep away from getting maimed to death.

      You’re right in saying that the danger exists. I say we need to fix it.

  19. Jackie

    To all of you members of MHCC-this accident happened to good friends of my youngest sister out in Kalamazoo, so there is a real connection here folks.
    There was a witness who himself was almost hit also. None of the cyclist did anything wrong-the driver of the pickup truck did. Have you seen the pics?
    The entire bike community is in complete & stunned shock. There was a Ride of Silence organized within 8 hrs & had over 600 participants!
    This guy is now being charged with 5 counts of 2nd degree murder & 4 counts of reckless driving regarding the 4 survivors. If convicted he can go to jail for life.

  20. Jeffrey McMeans

    Last year, I trained with Aidslifecycle and then with 2500 other riders, rode from San Francisco to Los Angeles, a 545 mile venture to raise awareness of HIV/Aids. We were trained from the beginning to not ride next to each other, to wear no ear buds, to stop at every light, in other words, to ride safely. My heart goes out to these riders as many time during the training and The Ride itself, I felt that cars and trucks came too close to me. In California, we now have a law giving us 3 feet between a bike and a car. That is a start. Above, someone mentioned we need some focus like MADD (Mother’s Against Drunk Drivers) to bring more awareness that we have a right to be where we are and that we are someone’s son or father or daughter. That sounds like a good idea. My heart is out there for the families and the wounded bike riders and all of their friends.

  21. jbridesbikes

    Another place to think about changing how we talk about these kinds of events is in how we describe those who are or should be mourning. In the present case, the loss of five lives is an inordinate tragedy, yet the way I’ve seen it discussed is that the “cycling community of Kalamazoo is in mourning . . .” It bothers me that mourning is only ascribed to the cycling community. We should all be mourning. All of Kalamazoo should be in mourning. This is a tragedy that transcends membership in any group.

  22. DannyX

    I invite all readers to zoom out a little and contemplate the fact that our transportation system kills too many people. No system should have as much risk as ours does. It kills more humans than wars, and being in a metal box doesn’t make you safe.

    Our streets and roads are paved with blood. I’m sick of losing people.

  23. Richard

    “There’s nothing that a cyclist can do that absolves a driver of the responsibility to avoid hitting a cyclist.”

    While I agree with almost everything you’ve said following this terrible tragedy – especially about following the rules of the road and avoiding group rides that don’t – just as bikes should never be blamed by default neither should cars. Yes, as cyclists we are far more aware and far more at risk, but there’ve been more times that I like to think that I’ve had to emergency brake in my car to avoid an idiot without lights running a stop sign in my neighborhood without looking (and far too often wearing dark clothes and headphones to boot).

    Nobody should be blamed, or blameless, just because of which vehicle (or lack thereof) they chose that day. Responsibility only works when it’s fairly demanded all around.

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