Practical Advice for Transportation Cycling

Sometimes, all that matters is getting from Point A to Point B as cheaply, safely and efficiently as possible. You don't need a fast bike, you don't need a pretty bike, and most of all you don't need an expensive bike, you just need one that works.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Opinionated Blogger Friday: Second Class Citizens

If you ever want to kill someone in New York, and get away with it, apparently the best thing to do is wait until they're on a bicycle.

At least that's the impression that I get from stories like this one, where the driver of a van deliberately struck a cyclist, and kept driving with the cyclist clinging to the front of his vehicle until traffic forced him to stop. In spite of multiple witnesses and a photograph of the vehicle (which clearly shows both the name of the company that owns the van and the license plate), police told the victim it "wouldn't be worth their time" to investigate the attack.

Now, road rage incidents do happen (because cars make you crazy) as do hit and runs, but this is a case where it seems like it would be fairly easy to track down the guy and press charges. But it seems like incidents with cyclists as victims are treated as pretty  low-priority by the NYPD, even in the case of fatal accidents.

This certainly isn't the case everywhere, but just reading about it can make a bicyclist feel a bit less secure out there. If aggressive drivers don't face any consequences for deliberately hitting you, what protection do you have? It's an uncomfortable thought. Are we really second-class citizens simply due to our mode of transportation?

Fortunately, on the national scale, bicycles are becoming more common and visible, and even non-cyclists are outraged when some aggressive nutjob tries to harm one of us. Still, it's saddening to see an incident like this fail to move the authorities to more constructive action.

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