Sunday, April 13, 2008

Motorcide versus wars

Motorized vehicles kill more that 1.2M worldwide, a jumbo jet load in the US every three days. Trucks, motorcycles, automobiles, public works vehicles, and buses use scofflaw behavior to run over pedestrians and bicyclists at will. Many small changes, like lead walk signals and barn crossings can prevent these crashes but cities are loath to "delay traffic" and sacrifice the poor on the alter of motorcide.

The problem is so bad that there is nothing a parent can do to teach a child how to be safe. Surface Transportation Policy Project Campaign Connection reports that 90% of pedestrian deaths were the drivers fault and 74% resulted from a traffic violation. Every intersection is a potential death zone from scofflaws who may be on phones or speeding or reaching for a cassette or in diabetic shock or just too old to drive. Cities try to work on motorcide one intersection at a time.

Drivers have lost a sense of responsibility for the pollution which results in a larger death toll than cigarettes or the crash death toll which is fastest growing disease in history. People drive when they are tired or on sleep medication. The law doesn't care. The media has forgotten how to report bad behavior while driving. The elderly drive because they have no options. Drivers have completely lost a sense of honor or responsibility for the planet toasting momentum bombs they control. They exhibit a perverse sense of lynchmachoism in their treatment of weaker vehicles like walkers or bicyclists with message brushbacks, gunning, catcalls, verbal abuse, road rage, or simply driving blind.

Since the problem is everywhere enforcement is overmatched and technology is too expensive to install. Streets other than auto only streets need to be reconfigured into the public works lexicon and general plan requirements. Studies say that for 85% of the population the most effective device is a speed control display sign. That means, except for the pollution, all the mayhem from bad driving is caused by a whopping 15% or 1 in 6 drivers.

According to Margaret Pye "motorcide" would mean: "death" (or "murder") "by motorized devices, most commonly: vehicles."

Under the pbpcroutes yahoo groups there is motorcide flyer called speedkills.
Speedkillsdraw is the front of the flyer which describes the problem of motorcide and speedkills is the back of the flyer which lays out a recommended street hierarchy. They are both pdfs.

U.S Deaths: Cars Vs. Wars
Car deaths total since 1899 roughly 3,500,000 not counting deaths from pollution strictly crashes. There is a three to one disparity between the two.
Revolutionary War 4,435
War of 1812 2,260
Mexican War 13,283
Civil War Union 364,512
Civil War Confederacy 133,821
Spanish American War 2,446
World War I 116,708
World War II 407,316
Korean War 36,916
Persian Gulf War 299
Bush's War 4 WMDs 4,033
TOTAL 1,145,222

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