- a collection of notes and reflections on urban living from the perspective of a family of five in Tokyo. My epiphany was many years ago, but being hit by a motorbike and seeing my life flash before my eyes caused a sudden change that slowly made me reflect on whether American style auto-centric urban transportation of the Roosevelt era really is a capital G "Good Idea" for civilized modern cities in the 21st Century. This blog explores the good and the bad in urban planning and design, here and elsewhere. The goal is simple - not "death to all cars," just more walkable communities, quiet tree-lined streets, good public transport, traffic calming, Velib style bicycle sharing and a bit of common sense. The bolg is mostly theraputic, so I don't go wanting to throttle every dangerous driver I come across, but partly also out of a real desire to see positive change. This blog explores how it can be done, the people who do it, and how, in many small ways, this very old idea may at last have found its zeitgeist. Comments and suggestions welcome.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Responsibility for "accidents"

Interesting article on the net:
"Drivers, bikers equally to blame for accidents"

The County figures quoted here in relation to the apportioning of blame between cyclists and drivers just go to show how much the US really is stuck in the car-culture rut. Man, they are in so deep, they can't see out. In Japan, you cannot hit a pedestrian or cyclist while driving without being stuck with at least some of the blame, if not all of it. Car vs car? The police will think about it - were you awake? drinking? distracted? But car vs bicycle or car vs pedestrian - no way. You're responsible.

I can only hope that as people in other countries begin to realise that cars are (duh!) maybe not ideal from an environmental/lifestyle perspective, they will also awaken to the fact that the mere act of driving a car is in itself an inherrently dangerous activity. That makes all drivers culpable in the event of an accident with pedestrians and cyclists. Why? The simple fact that walking and riding your bicycle do not have the potential to kill like cars do.

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