We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident, Everybody, Anybody, Gets to Drive a Car

As a rule, I avoid reading, and especially watching, any story with a headline like “APD releases video of graphic hit-and-run crash involving bicyclist.”

In this case, I made an exception, regretfully so, in retrospect. As I’m sure is true for most, if not all, cyclists who venture out beyond the safety of multi-use paths, reading/viewing such horror is disturbing. But it goes beyond that; anyone, not just a roadway cyclist, watching this video has to ask questions such as:

Why are we allowing people to drive when they suffer from severe mental issues and/or daily prescriptions to drugs that impair operation of a motor vehicles?

It is relevant to note on July 4th that driving a car has pretty much inexorably been conflated with “freedom.” If we as a society take cars away from people, we have somehow enslaved them.  If we as younger relatives “take the keys” from older folks whose driving endangers them and others around them, it is an emotionally fraught experience. We are, in our distortion of driving = freedom, killing them.

us flag cc
Source: Creative Commons

Hell, it’s considered by many ‘Mericans to be unconstitutional to ticket speeders and runners of red lights, unless they’re caught by a fellow ‘Merican wearing a badge. While the words “automobile” and “driving” do not appear in the Constitution, its Bill of Rights, or the Declaration of Independence, operating a motor vehicle is generally considered fundamental to our individuality as a nation and defines us as individual. “You don’t drive a car?” is one of the most accusatory questions an American adult can be asked. Not having a driver’s license is akin to giving up one’s passport, social security card, and voter registration combined.

So we’re gonna just keep having folks who shouldn’t be anywhere near a steering wheel drive. It’s just the cost of freedom when the crazier ones flip a cyclist fifteen or twenty feet up in the air at about 35 miles per hour.

Just the cost of freedom.

Happy 4th of July, everybody.



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