US mother faced with jail after hit-and-run driver kills her child

28 Jul

This blog mainly reports on how UK pedestrians are regularly ignored, insulted and treated with contempt and also about the wonderful things that people in this country are doing to challenge this sorry situation. However, a comment on this blog yesterday alerted me to an appalling story in the USA where a mother, who’s 4yo child was killed by a hit-and-run driver as she crossed a busy road was found guilty of ‘vehicular homicide‘, an offense which seems to be primarily used against reckless drivers who kill but in this case was used again a pedestrian and who could have got a 3.5 years prison sentence. In fact she got ‘only’ got 40 hours community service and the chance of a retrial.

What comes clear from an interview with the mother on USA Today is that:
1) There is no provision for people to cross the road from the bus stop she used to the set of apartments opposite.
2) The road is a dual-carriageway and probably has a 45mph speed limit.
3) The transport authority is claiming that people should not cross the road, but should instead take an 800 meter diversion to use a proper crossing.
4) The jury has made up of people who didn’t use public transport or walk beside busy roads.

To me this an extreme example of ‘autocentric‘ planning and attitudes which resulting in everything being considered primarily from the motorist’s perspective. We see the same thing here where motorists park across the pavement to avoid inconveniencing other motorists, where maps fail to show footpaths because they are not relevant to motorists, where bins are left on the pavement by councils to avoid be sued by motorists, where signs warning motorists of diversions actually cause pedestrians to ‘divert’ into the road, and when the police arrest blind people in minutes as soon as they say they will deflate the tires of a car parked repeatedly across the pavement having failed to act on earlier requests from that person to get the motorist to stop parking there!

All of the above results in the perpetuation of the ‘oppression’ of pedestrians. What is great is to witness a huge global movement growing made up of people demanding that things change; not least, Ken Edelstein, from the Green Building Chronicle in Atlanta, who is doing a great job pointing out the injustice of this particular incident and showing how things could so easily be done differently in future.

2 Responses to “US mother faced with jail after hit-and-run driver kills her child”

  1. michael July 29, 2015 at 4:01 pm #

    No argument with the substance of this post, but its “reckless” not “wreckless”! A reckless driver is almost the opposite of a “wreckless” one! Reckless drivers wreck lives.

    The car is clearly the dominant life-form in the US – see also the ‘jaywalking’ laws that exist in many states. As with many things, the US is an awful warning of what to try and avoid over here.

    • PeterEastern July 29, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

      Thank you, wobbly spelling now fixed. Very familiar with your jaywalking laws. We escaped these in the UK.

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