(a satire) By Rick Bernardi
EVERYTOWN- A cyclist was killed today when he collided with a vehicle on Main Street. According to Everytown Police Sgt. Ben Dover, the cyclist and the driver of the vehicle were both traveling in the same direction on Main Street. As the driver was attempting to pass the cyclist, the cyclist’s handlebar clipped the front fender of the passing vehicle, causing the cyclist to lose control of his bike. The cyclist smashed into the vehicle, causing extensive damage to the right front fender and windshield. The cyclist was killed instantly on impact. The cause of death was believed to be massive internal injuries. Sgt. Dover noted that the cyclist was not wearing a helmet.
Because the cyclist was only traveling at the speed limit, police believe that the cyclist’s low speed was a factor in this tragic accident. Police also said that, based on what the driver of the vehicle told them, they believe that the cyclist may have veered one or two inches off course just before the accident, and because of this, the driver was unable to take evasive action to avoid this tragedy.
The driver, who remained at the scene, was heard to be grieving over the incident. “Dang cyclist shoulda been wearing a helmet if he was going to ride that close to me,” the grief-stricken motorist said. “Just look at the damage to my car! Who’s going to pay for this? These cyclists think they own the road, but none of them have insurance or a driver’s license!”
“Of course, the driver is terribly distraught,” Sgt. Dover explained. “He will have to live with this for the rest of his life. Cyclists really need to be careful to obey the traffic laws. Just last year, we had another terrible tragedy when a cyclist took a drink of water from his water bottle and got sucked under a passing truck.”
Although they didn’t witness this completely unavoidable accident, bystanders agreed. “These bikers don’t seem to know what a stop sign is,” said one bystander. “They think the law doesn’t apply to them.” Dudley Wright, owner of the Wheel Fast Bikes Shop agreed, saying, “Of course, cyclists need to obey the traffic laws too.”
(This article is satire. But the “windshield perspective” expressed by the media, the police, the driver, and the bystanders in this article is very real. In fact, the links in this article are all links to real incidents, each of them as outrageous as this article. And two of the links were the inspiration for this article. Although this article is satire, we will continue to see similar incidents and attitudes in the real world, as long as “the windshield perspective” continues to be the dominant worldview in our society. The only way to change this dominant worldview is to challenge its assumptions and biases whenever we encounter them.)