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Blaming the victim

June 2, 2011

This pisses me off. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/03/us/03bcbike.html?_r=1&smid=tw-nytimes&seid=auto

Here in the US, we blame the kids, because after, all everyone knows that kids should be more responsible. Other countries, where they would rather reduce the number of kids hit by cars, they fix the infrastructure, and tell the adults to be more responsible. Guess which works better.

And the dumbass reporter for the New York Times seems not to know any of this. Just another inflatable doll parroting the words of convention and authority.

Or as they phrased it in the Netherlands: “Stop the child murder“.
Perhaps you think that’s inflammatory, but guess which country has safer roads as a result.

There’s an internet cycling claim, attributed to Mayer Hillman, that not riding a bike (at all) is ten times more dangerous than riding a bike, because it is so unhealthy to be unfit. I haven’t been able to find the statistics that back up this claim, even when I bought the book from which it allegedly came Cycling: Towards Health and Safety. The closest it comes is the statistic that in a group of commuting cyclists, roadway crashes (of all kinds) accounted for only 1.4% of deaths (whereas heart attacks in this group killed 33%, and the known reduction in heart attack risk with exercise suggests a substantial net reduction in mortality).

However, happily, I just found this:

Even after adjustment for other risk factors, including leisure time physical activity, those who did not cycle to work experienced a 39% higher mortality rate than those who did.

Unless you think a 39% boost in your risk of death is “safe”, a little old unarmored bicycle, no belts, no airbags, no roll cage, is safer than a car, at least for the first 50-100 miles of travel each week.

And there’s more (via UtilityCycling.org):
Conclusions: On average, the estimated health benefits of cycling were substantially larger than the risks relative to car driving for individuals shifting their mode of transport.