Sunday, June 22, 2008

Emotional and Politically Correct

The SJ Merc printed a letter of mine more or less along the lines of my post here about the schoolgirl killed while biking home from school. I was a little surprised to see a "rebuttal" in the form of another letter the next day.

How sad that in a time of tragedy people let their emotions override their good judgment. Such is the case when Nicholas Kibre (Letters, June 15) somehow blames the driver of an SUV for a fatality involving a bicycle. Kibre doesn't blame the driver for what may have been a failure to yield to the bicyclist during a left hand turn. No, he goes for the politically correct jugular and blames the driver for purchasing an SUV. Although, I saw no mention that the driver either purchased or owned the Ford Bronco in question. There was no mention in Kibre's letter about the unfortunate young girl not wearing a helmet as required by law which was probably more of a factor than the type of vehicle she collided with. Instead of putting additional blame on the city of San Jose for delays in implementing traffic measures it would seem more appropriate to encourage authorities to increase the education and enforcement of helmet laws.

Jack Azevedo

Santa Clara

I suppose this guy has me on the the poin that the driver may not have actually owned the Ford Bronco. Maybe she stole it! That changes everything!

I stand by my point--using (however you get ahold of it) a vehicle that is known to endanger other people is a choice, and therefore, is a greater moral failing even than the fateful, but assumedly totally accidental, failure to see the victim.


Susan said...

Kid + SUV - it's physics. Helmet or not the kid didn't stand a chance.

Christi said...

As I understood it, Breanna stood no chance, even if she had a helmet on.

And way to shift the blame from city planners to bicyclists, despite the fact that the community has been asking for traffic calming for years and just a few weeks before Breanna's death, another student had been hit by another car in the same neighborhood. This isn't about a girl who didn't wear a helmet, this is about an entire neighborhood that has not felt safe against speeding cars for years.

As for SUVs, Malcolm Gladwell has a column on everything wrong with SUVs:

I suspect you already know everything Gladwell says about SUVs but I like to link to it out there, especially when people ask me why I am anti-SUV.

Fritz said...

And the letter writer blaming the victim for failure to wear a helmet (!!!) is beyond the pale -- it's unbelievable. If the poor girl perished after getting knocked over by the car then Azevedo's helmet argument may have a hint of merit, but the kid was apparently dragged several feet by the Bronco.

And what's political correctness have to do with anything? If you drive a large vehicle, you must take extra care, especially when you know children are around. De Marin drove a dangerous vehicle at a dangerous speed NEXT TO A SCHOOL WHEN SHE KNEW CHILDREN WERE AROUND makes her accident inexusable. Azevedo's claim that SUVs are not dangerous and his desire to put the burden of safety on small children is sickening.