I’ve been watching this story for a bit, biting my tongue (and my fingers) trying to stay out of it. But I’m fed up. San Francisco cyclist Chris Bucchere, according to numerous reports both local and national, caused fatal injuries to a pedestrian in a crosswalk in the Castro area of San Francisco. Accidents are a terrible thing, but unfortunately somewhat inevitable in a crowded urban landscape such as San Francisco. Clearly that does not diminish the loss to the victim and his family, nor does it absolve the cyclist of any wrong doing should he be found to have been negligent.
No – what’s pissing me off is the ridiculous amount of media coverage being given to this event – admittedly a tragedy. Actually, to be more clear it isn’t exactly the media coverage I’m frustrated with, but rather the perceptional bias that is indicated by the media coverage.
My frustration is that a pedestrian being killed by a cyclist garners national coverage. Meanwhile, pedestrians are struck by autos every day in San Francisco and barely warrant a mention in local media.
In a statement you may rarely find me typing, The San Francisco Bay Guardian got it right:
Yet activists also sought to place this case in context, noting that an average of almost three pedestrians are hit by cars everyday in San Francisco, even though that rarely makes headlines. There were 220 pedestrians killed in San Francisco from 2000-2009, the vast majority hit by cars whose drivers rarely faced criminal charges. In fact, the same week that Sustchi Hui was killed there was another pedestrian killed by a motorist and another one by a Muni bus.
Yup – that’s my gripe. Cyclist kills a pedestrian and we can’t write enough words about it. Automobile kills a pedestrian and we (the collective we – the “sheep” we) chalk it up to an unfortunate necessity of living in an auto-centric society and remind pedestrians to look both ways before crossing the street.
Tell me I’m not the only one that feels there is a bit inequity in this coverage.