The Austin Chronicle

Cars Much More Dangerous to Public Safety

RECEIVED Sun., Nov. 11, 2012

Dear Editor,
    You recently wrote, "Blasé and entitled auto drivers are just as much a public threat as cyclists who run stop signs, stealthily sidle past rows of waiting cars, and don't use their damn hand signals" [Best at Safely Gesticulating, “Best of Austin,” Nov. 9]. Not! The truth is that cars are actually a much larger threat to public safety than bicycles are or ever could be. Think about it: Of the 320 cases of failure to stop and render aid in Austin so far this year, or the dozens of deaths of innocent road users on Austin streets, exactly how many do you think were caused by bicyclists? (Hint: zero.) And how many were caused by drivers? All of them! Law-breaking drivers cause about 30,000 wrecks in the Austin area each year, and in about half of those, a vehicle is towed away or someone goes to the hospital. Nationally, drivers running red lights kill about a thousand people annually and injure another quarter-million.
    Both drivers and cyclists break the law, but the difference is that the drivers are the ones actually killing people. Chronicle, drivers aren't "just as much a threat" as cyclists “who don't use their damn hand signals." They're a fantastically bigger threat. When you're out driving around, which would be worse: getting T-boned by an SUV or by a Schwinn?
Michael Bluejay
Bicycle Austin

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