Sunday, November 13, 2011
Regarding the boy who was killed on Friday night on Clinton
Original story can be found HERE
I was watching the news last night and the comment was made that Clinton is a busy street and is dark. That is very true. It is busy and is not well lit and the 35 MPH speed limit is not adhered to by most drivers making this area very unsafe for vulnerable road users.
The link above to the article in Saturday's Journal Gazette made a point of stating that the boys did have dark clothing on, no helmets on, and very few reflectors.
Honestly, would it have made a difference? We might never know. What is my point here you ask? The kid was 15 years old. Judging by the hour, he was probably on the way home for dinner with his buddies from the neighborhood. There is no safe place to cross that road! Is that his fault? No. People come screaming down that hill toward the downtown. It that his fault? No. Kids are not going to travel a half mile or more to an intersection to cross and then ride their bikes all the way back. It won't happen.
Sure they could have planned ahead at 3 pm or whenever they went out on their bikes and thought, "Gee, it might be dark when I come home so I should wear white." 15 yr old boy? Yeah right.
This freeway through the middle of town is dark and is unsafe for those who are on bikes or are walking. But that doesn't mean that they still won't be there. They will! Like those who use cars for transportation, they still have places to go (even if it is unsafe).
I am so sorry that this young man had to lose his life because cars are more important than those who use bikes or walk. It is time that the most vulnerable road users are taken into consideration.
Could this tragedy have been avoided somehow. Yes. Who is at fault here? The Driver of the car? Partially. The boy riding the bike? Partially. The engineers who designed the road? Partially.
Could this have been avoided with an educational campaign in the schools that help kids understand the dangers and consequences of not thinking about all of those dangers? Perhaps. But since when does a 15 year old boy listen to anything?
Could it have been avoided if this freeway's speed limits were enforced on a regular basis? Perhaps.
Could this have been avoided if the road was illuminated better? Maybe.
Could it have been avoided if the most vulnerable road users were always considered within traffic engineering design? Maybe.
I hope that people will not just point the blame at this poor kid for not wearing the right colored clothing or having the correct number of reflectors though. There are a lot of folks who need to share the blame for his early death. RIP.