[Re-posted from Minneapolize.com.]
Two nights ago while returning from a day trip to Little Falls – to talk cycling infrastructure and destination cycling. I returned to the Twin Cities to find 694 closed in one of the “Brooklyns” where 694 meets 94. There was apparently a fatal accident caused when the deceased re-entered the lane of traffic after driving on the shoulder. Apparently as she merged she struck the back of a semi trailer which was stopped. As i drove by on 94, I could see the extent of the damage to her SUV and it looked as though it was a high speed crash.
Then in the online version of the Star Tribune this morning, I read the following headlines:
“Hit-and-run driver drags Army recruiter under vehicle for nearly a mile.” (there was another Army recruiter – a pedestrian also – struck in the same incident.)
“Pickup runs stop sign near Princeton, kills teen in collision with car.”
This is just today. And only in Minnesota.
For those who follow Minneapolize, you’ve read about my questions regarding the outrage of the carnage on our roads.
OVER THREE THOUSAND PEOPLE DIE ON U.S. HIGHWAYS EVERY THIRTY FOUR DAYS. THE SAME DEATH TOLL AS THE ATTACK ON THE WORLD TRADE CENTER.
The attack on the WTC resulted in a $3 trillion (and counting) war in Iraq, untold expenses in Pakistan and Afghanistan and an unprecedented erosion of our civil liberties. And on and on.
Yet we seem to be ok with the continued, unabated, carnage on our streets and highways. Are there solutions? Yes. Many of the related to education, and also technical solutions.
Some of the cheapest? Create mad bicycle infrastructure so that the 60%+ of Americans who say they would ride their bikes more if they felt safe doing so could ride. This is a cheap and easy (well easier) solution.
Install accelerometers into new cars that would prevent them from acting unsafe. Can’t leave the highway without slowing significantly, can’t speed. Install breathalyzers. Drunk? Car won’t start, sorry.
Install hit-and-run technology to more easily apprehend offenders.
There are more and the tech industry will be delighted to innovate.
Afraid this is sounding like the nanny state? Removing some of our basic freedoms…like killing people with our cars?
Before you hit the comment button to flame us, take a deep breath and count to 3 trillion.