In the New York Times this morning, the headline reads Several Injured After Car Jumps Curb in Manhattan.
Last year, when cyclist Jenna Morrison died, the headline in the Post was Toronto cyclist killed by truck was five-months pregnant with second child.
Now I know that there are cars that drive themselves, but it almost seems like this language has been consciously framed to separate the driver from the event, as if somehow the vehicle did it on its own. Compare it to how we talk about guns; after years of the NRA saying guns don't kill people, headlines don't say .22 Calibre Cricket kills girl, they say 5-Year-Old Accidentally Shoots, Kills His Sister Using A Rifle Made For Children
Let's be honest and tell it like it is. Justin Bieber drove into this guy. The nameless driver who "didn't break the law" when he killed Jenna Morrison, but he still crushed her under his wheels. Their cars and trucks don't drive themselves any more than the Nissan Altima that took out six people this morning in New York did.
Trucks and Ferraris and Nissans don't hit, maim and kill cyclists and pedestrians, people do. If headlines were written that way, perhaps people would think about them differently.
Meanwhile, in Maine:
Over at Bicyclelaw, Rick Bernardi examines the case of a cyclist sucked under a truck and looks at the issue of how almost every time a pedestrian or cyclist gets killed,
...our system of injustice gives us its grotesque pro forma ritual of shifting the blame to the cyclist, and exonerating the driver? What does one say, when over and over again, the justice we receive is nothing but a mockery of justice? What does one say, when all one feels is a cold fury at the lies that perpetuate our system of injustice? What does one say when there are no words? What does one say?
I’m fed up. And I’m not alone. We have to stop accepting this “blame the victim” system of injustice. We have to stop accepting this “bend over backwards to exonerate drivers who kill” system of injustice. We have to stop accepting this “slap on the wrist” system of injustice. We have to stop accepting excuses.
Bernardi titled his post Words Escape Me. They didn't.