In Eugene, a human life is worth $1,000

Michael Devon Alston was driving carelessly on November 29th, 2012 when he made a right turn in broad daylight off 18th street onto Chambers and killed pedestrian Tamara Kay Glenn.  Alston’s only penalty after pleading guilty to careless driving that lead to the death of Tamara is paying a $1,000 fine.  This is the same proposed fine that you get for talking on a cell phone while driving, stripping in an airport, having a loud party on campus, or littering.

That’s right, driving carelessly and killing someone with your car is the same at littering in Eugene.  This is car culture at it worst.  How can we pretend to be a bike and pedestrian friendly town and let this slide?

This sentence is a result of the typical “oh, it could happen to me!” attitude of other car drivers (like the judge).  Well you’re right, IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU, which is why when you drive a car you should drive with FEAR in your heart that you may kill someone. Treat cars like loaded guns.  They are not safe in any way.  Every time you drive you put the lives of everyone around you in danger, but rarely your own.  We need to change that. Screw up driving, and YOU GO TO JAIL, not pay a $1,000 fine.  Then everyone will drive better, or maybe even choose to drive less in the first place.

I’m tired of people outside of cars (bikers, pedestrians) being the only ones with skin in the game.  We risk our lives existing around cars, but all car drivers risk is a few dollars?  They are the drone pilots of the transportation world: free to kill, but with no risk themselves.  If we don’t increase the risk to them, we aren’t going to see better drivers and people won’t stop dying.

Maybe we should get rid of airbags and put a 2-foot long spike in the center of every steering wheel.  I bet we see some careful driving then! (Idea blatantly stolen from an Andy Singer cartoon that I can’t find online)

Eugene man pleads guilty to careless driving charge in connection with fatal crash | Local News | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon.

KMTR News Reinforces Reckless Car Culture, Again.

KMTR ran a news story today that emphasized that all kids should wear helmets, complete with “experts.”  Their main reasoning was that a kid got hit by a car just recently and more kids are riding in the nice weather.  Nowhere in the story did they mention that drivers should be more careful since there are more bikers out.  In fact, there was NO mention of safe driving at all.

I’m not against helmets – I wear one every time I ride, but I only wear one because of the likelihood of some yahoo dipschmuck texter butthole in a car running me over.  If there were no cars, I wouldn’ t wear a helmet commuting.  I’d only wear one when riding offroad or zooming down McKenzie Pass, things that are mildly dangerous without cars. Commuting is not.  Being 8 and riding a bike around your neighborhood is not (if there weren’t cars).

So, news, stop acting like car drivers are powerless to not hit us. Stop acting like biking is dangerous.  It’s not.  Existing around idiots with motorized weapons is dangerous.  People get hit by idiot car drivers all the time while walking, should pedestrians wear helmets?  NO, drivers should stop sucking!

KMTR video link.

In related news, a man was just killed on the Oregon coast while walking on the 101 Oregon Scenic Bikeway.  The driver of the truck who killed him was not even cited.  Was there a big news story about how people should be more careful driving?  Of course not!