Paul Andrews

Rider Down: Hate crimes against cyclists spreading?

In Bicycle advocacy, Rider Down on January 18, 2010 at 11:14 am

Rider Down & Dragged: “The car failed to stop despite having the victim’s bicycle trapped underneath, dragging the mangled frame all the way into Key Biscayne…” According to the story, the driver “appeared impaired”…d’ya think?

Is this a trend? Remember the Toronto incident where a bike courier was impaled and tried to hang on for dear life while the driver scraped utility poles in an attempt to dislodge him? It’s not enough to hit a cyclist, you have to drag the body dead or alive. This is reminiscent of lynchings in the Deep South and gay murders. We continue to argue that cycling deaths in such circumstances should be treated as hate crimes.

Certainly the Facebook protest this coming Saturday at the company’s Palo Alto headquarters serves as another reminder that hatred against cyclists is real. Whatever FB winds up doing about the page advocating violence against cyclists, the point needs to be made and publicized widely as just plain unacceptable.

Granted, we have to get the basic legislation in place, such as Washington’s “vulnerable user” law, before we can pursue more specific violations of human rights. But at some point the line that gets crossed in hate incidents will have to be addressed legally.

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