NYT asks, "Is it okay to kill cyclists?"

The Times gave good play and a cool graphic to its "Is It O.K. to Kill Cyclists?" piece in Sunday's paper.
Kurt McRobert

It was great to read the provocative opinion piece about cycling in San Francisco in yesterday’s The New York Times’ Sunday Review (“Is It O.K. to Kill Cyclists?”), which amplified recent reporting and editorial messages from the Bay Guardian.

Kudos especially to the writer of that headline, which crystallizes the issue beautifully. San Francisco and other cities have essentially sanctioned violence against cyclists by refusing to issue citations against negligent motorists who kill and seriously injure cyclists. (It’s a sadly similar story with pedestrians, as a Bay Citizen investigation found last year).

“There is something undeniably screwy about a justice system that makes it de facto legal to kill people, even when it is clearly your fault, as long you’re driving a car and the victim is on a bike and you’re not obviously drunk and don’t flee the scene,” wrote Daniel Duane, a San Franciscan who now says he’s too scared to ride local roadways.

San Francisco will never get anywhere close to its official goal of having 20 percent of all vehicle trips being by bicycle by 2020 if the San Francisco Police Department focuses more on harassing cyclists running stop signs than it does on citing motorists that are actually responsible for most car versus cyclist collisions (according to a study cited in the article).

The reasoning for going easy on drivers who kill cyclists and pedestrians has been the assumption that juries won’t convict because “accidents happen” and we all need to keep driving, right? But that societal attitude causes problems ranging for needless death to global warming, and it only begins to change with good think-pieces like the New York Times piece.    


Three to two, Lee whacked Avalos.

Ergo, more voters agree with me than you.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

is what whacked Avalos.

Ergo, more corrupt political figures agree with you.

Posted by Matlock on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

The fact that a few Chinese voted a slate is irrelevant.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

Bike riders complain about safety in these forums, but fail to practice it on the streets. How many times have I watched bicycle riders pass cars on the right, or weave between cars at a stop light to work their way to the front and refuse to wait in a queue, or ignore a right turn signal from a car and try to pass that right-turning car on the right hand side? Too many.

Worse, how many bike riders must die before we implement mandatory bike helmet laws? And yet it is groups like the SF Bike Coalition that fight these life-saving laws.

Posted by Richmondman on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

residents of this city are luke warm in their sympathy. Perhaps only then will they understand how their alienation of others here comes back to hurt them.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 4:45 pm

An accident never kill only one person; It rather kills a family, a group of friends and all the relations and promises that one man had! I am so sorry after reading this article. I think our system has grown to a level where emotions can be easily neglected or abused over harsh reality and logic. It is the downfall of a system that fails to protect the native citizens. Indeed, the pity of the situation is the pity it is creating :(

Posted by Jeff_Thomson! on Apr. 25, 2014 @ 11:16 pm

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