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#1 2016-03-22 18:19:22

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
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Lots of recent car-on-pedestrian collisions (March 2016)

A recent article in Patch runs down lots of recent car-on-ped collisions:

http://patch.com/texas/eastaustin/man-h … ast-austin

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#2 2019-02-09 00:20:46

MichaelBluejay
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Re: Lots of recent car-on-pedestrian collisions (March 2016)

About one of those ped deaths, it gets really macabre.  Adrienne White's father was hit by a drunk driver, but survived.  White's uncle Dennis came to town to comfort her and her father during the father's recovery, but while walking to Brackenridge to see the father, Dennis was killed by a driver.  You can't make this stuff up.

White had a column in the Chronicle about this, which I'm just now seeing. It reads like something I could have written.

Adrienne White wrote:

Two weeks after my uncle's death, I was stunned to read that APD Chief Art Acevedo's solution for reducing pedestrian deaths in Austin is to ticket more jaywalkers.  Our infrastructure has always been designed for cars, and it feds as though pedestrian and cyclist facilities only result as an afterthought.  Infrastructure is not APD's department, but how APD favors ticketing cyclists and pedestrians, both of whom are vulnerable road users -- over holding negligent drivers accountable -- is....These perpetrators rarely get prosecuted and often get off on a much less punitive plea deal.  To add insult to injury, APD now wants to point the blame at these aggrieved, vulnerable road users who already suffer from the lack of an equitable and safe roadway system.

I recently received a copy of the crash report for my father's incident, which leaves me very concerned about the investigation.  One of the responding officers wrote, "assuming [the driver's] account is generally accurate..." in the report.  The account of this driver—cited for intoxication assault; with an existing record of assault, aggravated robbery, and possession of cocaine; and who was violating parole when he was apprehended—is to be presumed "accurate"?...He claims he swerved, yet there was no indication of brake marks....But the law is willing to rely on a recurring and violent offender's report because my father was incapable of providing a statement at the time of the accident.  This is yet another example of a broken system.....

It makes me wonder if these policies—which vilify vulnerable road users—are why so many motorists get off with a slap on the wrist when they hit pedestrians and cyclists, compared to when a crash involves another motorist.  I believe that our city will never become a safe place for pedestrians and cyclists if we keep blaming them for vehicular crashes.  Drivers have little incentive to change their behaviors if there are no repercussions for their risky, distracted actions.

https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/20 … destrians/

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#3 2019-02-09 14:03:25

dougmc
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Re: Lots of recent car-on-pedestrian collisions (March 2016)

Of course, I haven't read the actual report myself, but "assuming [the driver's] account is generally accurate" actually sounds pretty fair to me -- it's explicitly stating that the officer does not trust the account but is doing it in the most polite way possible.  And the police report is a public document, and so the police officers can't always be as frank as they'd like to be.

It sounds like there's a lot to be concerned about in the report, though those specific words probably shouldn't be part of it.

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#4 2019-02-09 15:48:04

MichaelBluejay
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Re: Lots of recent car-on-pedestrian collisions (March 2016)

dougmc wrote:

...it's explicitly stating that the officer does not trust the account...

I don't read it that way at all; quite the opposite.  My reading is certainly how the author of the Chronicle took it.

I think neutral wording would be "If the driver's account is generally accurate", not "Assuming" it is.

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