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Scree - November 16, 2010

Bikes on Mount Evans


From a Grist article - a fourteen year old boy was killed on his bicycle by a speeding car. The driver was found guilty; but now the driver is trying to sue the parents of the deceased boy, because he was not wearing a helmet.

Folks, helmets might help a rider if they ran off the road and wrecked, but they are not a crash helmet used to head butt a car going 80 miles per hour.

A quote from the article...

"Our roads are filled with reckless, irresponsible drivers who rarely have to reckon with the consequences of their actions. Because car dependence is so fundamentally built into our culture, we have a legal system that allows drunk drivers to get back behind the wheel time after time, and prosecutors who are all too willing to go easy on people who kill and maim other road users with their vehicles.

No wonder so many people feel unsafe on our nation's roads and streets unless they, too, are protected by the carapace of a car.

It doesn't have to be like this. In the Netherlands, the law is very different. From the BicycleLaw.com blog:

In the Netherlands, the law imposes a rebuttable presumption of liability on drivers -- if a motorist is involved in a crash with a cyclist, the law presumes that the motorist is liable for the crash, unless the motorist can rebut that presumption with evidence to the contrary. The reason for this shift is that the Dutch recognized that the cyclist will virtually always be the injured party in a collision with an automobile, and by putting the onus of fault on the driver, have provided motorists with a powerful legal incentive to pay more attention to the presence of cyclists.

Imagine that."


Helpful Muggles

With the release of the new Harry Potter movie this weekend, there is a lot of Harry Potter-ness going around.

Recently our daughter, Rose, went to Haiti to work on an Engineers Without Borders project. Little did we know that she was probably inspired by Harry Potter. We should have guessed it though, even if we are just mere Muggles.

(Yahoo News - Christian Science Monitor)