Cars Don’t Kill People (Unless They Are on a Bike).

Update 10/13/2014 We just learned that Anna-Maria Mostrom was taken off of life support by her family. She had been pronounced brain dead after being hit on her bike Wednesday by a bus on Roosevelt Island in NYC. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her friends and family.

Anna-Maria Mostrom. (Photographer: Martina Huber in Expressen.se)

How many cyclists have to die before our cities train employees how to navigate around cyclists? How many families have to mourn because our infrastructure forces cyclists into harm’s way? See the LilyDrive button at the bottom of this post for how you can help.

Original article, published August 14th, 2014. This was the founding post of our blog:

We just did a quick news search on “cyclist killed.”  Guess what? We found stories on eight different cyclists who were run over and killed in the past two days.  It’s funny (well, not funny) that we get our panties tied in knots over images of gun-toting Deliverance extras taking over some Cheesecake Factory but there are 240 million cars in the US, most of which are fired every day. Not all of them miss.

Cal Melnick was killed in Lawrence, Kansas on Wednesday. He was 66, and friends called him “metronome” because his wheel was the steadiest to follow, according to the Lawrence-Journal World. The driver of a pickup truck coming from the opposite direction was passing another vehicle and ran over Cal. Cal was a librarian.

Belgians practically invented cycling.  Unfortunately, that did not help Paul Dupont, a Belgian in Cheyenne, Wyoming. A  pickup truck swerved onto the shoulder and slammed into him. He died in a ditch.

Lawrence, Kansas cyclist Cal Melick, pictured here on a ride outside Weston, Mo., was killed by a car Aug. 13, 2014. Photo property of Lawrence-Journal World.

Lawrence, Kansas cyclist Cal Melick, pictured here was killed by a car Aug. 13, 2014. Photo courtesy of Lawrence-Journal World.

Others who rode their bikes this for the last time this week: Matthew O’Neill, Luis Escobar, Jesus Frias, Joseph Gathambiri, James McCarthy, and an unnamed cyclist in Queens, NY.

Last year, Daniel Duane in the NYT commented on the commonplace and rarely-penalized occurrence of cars killing cyclists in the US in his article Is it OK to Kill Cyclists?

The solution? Yeah, cyclists need to ride safe. But in each of the eight articles above, there were no reports of dangerous cyclists, just lethal cars. We think the solution needs to be stiffer penalties, increased space and markings for cyclists, and mandatory training for drivers and city employees.

Please join Velocution on LilyDrive to stand up for the safety of cyclists everywhere.
You can make a real difference and inspire others.

  2 comments for “Cars Don’t Kill People (Unless They Are on a Bike).

  1. Craig Elliott
    October 27, 2014 at 1:09 am

    I was hit on a cross country ride in 2011. Broken hip, ribs, punctured lung and dislocated shoulder. NYS had just passed a law about txting and driving. He crossed 4 lanes of traffic to hit me head on while playing with his phone. At the last second he saw me and instead of stopping the car he pulled right in front of me. I hit the front of the car and went over the top of his car. He got out of the car and kicked me twice, yelling did I kill the “F’er”. I was training for a race across the USA. Took me 5 years to get to the level i was at. Anyway I died twice in the operation room and had to be revived I was told.
    the drive got a failure to yield the right of way and walked. If I was killed NYS would probably just let him go, too much paperwork or something like that. It’s open season in Orchard Park NY and the Buffalo area. I’ve lived in several other states in my life and all car drivers hate to see bicyclists on the road. I’ve heard people scream at them and even throw things at them. In the DC area I had a close friend hit in the back with a pipe because the kids thought he was hogging their road.
    The problem is no one ever gets punished for killing a person on a bike. i think they get more points and the right to do it again.

  2. John v
    October 29, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Craig, I am glad you are ok, it sounds like it was a really close call. So many people haven’t come out ok on the other side of what happened to you. You hit the nail on the head with your comment “The problem is no one ever gets punished for killing a person on a bike.”

    If the penalties increased, and the loopholes decreased, we would see markedly fewer accidents and deaths.

    Seems like the main argument against stiffer penalties is “but cyclists don’t obey the rules, so f-k ’em.” Not all cyclists obey the rules, that’s true. I’d be open to increasing penalties for cyclists who break them. And to believe this argument is to believe “well, why not drink and drive??? it’s not like all those other people on the streets are squeaky clean.”

    What pisses me off are the people who oppose stiffer penalties for people who hit cyclists. So they want to protect their rights to not only drive a lethal weapon, but to actually use it against a victim? Even the NRA wackos don’t go so far as demanding rights to both bear arms and use them against innocent people. You know you’re a douchebag when you make the NRA seem moderate.

    Thanks for sharing your story. If more people shared stories like this, and more people read them, maybe we could turn the tide.

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