This column in today’s New York Times is heartbreaking:
There was videotape evidence that the man who killed Cooper did not yield. Witnesses corroborated that the driver was not paying attention.
I soon learned, however, that the Manhattan district attorney’s office would most likely not charge the driver who killed my son with criminal negligence.
The author, Dana Lerner, thinks she’s battling a legal system and law enforcement. She is not. She is actually battling an entire culture. And that means she will lose despite attempts by Mayor Bill de Blasio to mitigate traffic deaths in the city.
The cold hard facts of the matter: Tens of thousands of traffic deaths in the U.S. each year is the price we gladly pay for a traffic system (including enforcement) that largely allows us to self-righteously act in any damned way we please largely without penalty.
Well, obviously, we prefer that other people pay the utimate price.
We are all guilty. Every time we exceed the speed limit. Every time we dodge a rule because, well, no one is watching (and it seems safe). Every time we sigh with relief because the price we paid for a traffic ticket was easily affordable. Every time we applaud traffic engineering that makes it easier to drive faster with fewer obstacles (e.g. those damned things walking around on two legs). Every time we act like assholes because our tender convenience is just sooooo damned important.
We are all selfish assholes.
We are totally and completely happy to allow tens of thousands to die every year so that we can remain selfish assholes. And nothing will change until you accept that fact and find a way to be disgusted by it.