Friday, September 30, 2016

Die in a Car Crash in New Jersey? No NBC News Animation for You


Once again my week was thwarted. I didn't get to make the YouTube video I wanted because the New Jersey Transit Accident happened.

The thing is, I was going to make a video featuring a train for another purpose, but my inspiration left me. Besides, news organizations like NBC Nightly News put together a very professional digital animation of the accident that looks better than anything I can make with my HO scale miniatures. 

They sure work quickly. 

However, the NJ Transit accident did make me think once again about how lousy biking can be in New Jersey (particularly Cherry Hill, which I rode in last year) and the disproportionality of fear and of media attention - something I covered a few months back for Blaze in the UK and something Cyclicious summed up in a perfect Tweet

But here's what I found when I did a Internet search for "New Jersey Car Accidents" and found almost a dozen stories (just from this month) in minutes. In case the graphics person at any news organization is overworked, here are a some other horrible commuting stories that may just have gotten a wee bit less attention than the New Jersey Transit Crash:












That one is awful, but it's worse still knowing that a five-year-old also died in the same crash but I guess that isn't tragic enough to make the national news and lead to a huge series of discussions about auto safety, 



Now before anyone accuses me of being insensitive in terms of the NJ train crash, let's look at the insensitivity of not just news headlines (when you can find them) on car crashes, but on the lens in which we look at them. Car crashes - even fatalities - are often discussed in terms of 'what does this mean for my commute?' instead of anything that remote closes in on compassion. In the minds of most editors a train crash can be described as a 'horror' but a car crash that makes you 15 minutes late? That's just an obstacle between you and enjoying your driving experience. 


I am going to go to yoga today at St. James Park in San Jose (very thankful to the city and Be the Change Yoga & Wellness for doing that). I am going to ride my bike to the VTA and take the train in. It's safer. Easier. Better for my health and better for the environment. As for you, please travel safe no matter how you get around and please, for the love of whatever you pray to, question the headlines and don't sweep car crashes under the rug. Ever. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding. 

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