Friday, June 6, 2008

Road Scholar: Commentary by Andrew Vontz

Andrew Vontz is a contributing writer to a variety of publications including Bicycling, Road, Rolling Stone and FHM. He has been kind enough to let me repost a commentary he recently posted regarding the terrible and horrific accident in Mexico...

Per the Mexico car/cyclists collision, yeah this stuff is godawful, car shouldn't have been there. But to me, this simply reaffirms how insane the streets are on bike, foot, or in a car. Cyclists happened to be there, but this dude would have run over anything that was in his path.

when I was a kid, I was at a parade with my parents and saw a street cleaner drive into the parade and run over a marching band. Tubas and toms were flying everywhere. Turned out the street cleaner was drunk.

The night before I graduated college, my brother was driving my car on the freeway to get to my graduation and a drunk driver collided with him head on--the dude entered the divided highway from an off ramp driving the wrong way. Both cars were going about 70 when they hit. My brother had scratches but was fine.

my brother's best friend when he was a kid was killed when a drunk driver blew a red light and plowed the pickup truck he was riding in the back of. His sister in the front seat lived. Gnarly. If it had been a pack of cyclists at that intersection, he would have killed the cyclists. I don't think blacked out drunk drivers are very discriminating when they kill people.

So to me, events like this are tragic and terrible but more representative of the huge problem with drunk driving (anyone see the Dateline piece on cops getting caught on tape drunk driving, in huge numbers? that's life affirming) than the more predictable and specific tension of cars and cyclists maliciously antagonizing each other or being unprovoked victims of bad driving/riding, etc.

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