Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Accidents Occur

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Accidents Occur

I support “Vision Zero” and the general thrust of Alexandrians for Safe Streets, but balk at changing the nomenclature from “accident” to “crash” because not all motor vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries involve “crashes” in the common or dictionary sense of the word. “Accident” distinguishes from “intentional” in that intentional crashes are not accidental, whereas “crashes” may be intentional or unintentional (viz. accidental). Because intent is important in our legal system, “accident” better describes mishaps on our streets involving motor vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.

Where we should look instead is to saying “preventable,” as most mishaps are. A bicyclist blowing through a stop sign and broadsiding a car in the intersection or a car driver, experiencing a medical emergency after forgetting to fill the prescription to prevent it, striking a pedestrian are preventable whereas the latter accident is not preventable if the driver has a first-time heart attack.

I hope Vision Zero also addresses novel vehicles using the roads, such as skateboards, rollerskates, “power-assisted” bicycles, motorized skateboards and push scooters, etc. as the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan envisions.

Dino Drudi