Blaming The Victim

Picture this: A pedestrian is standing on the curb, waiting for the light to change. The light changes, and the pedestrian steps out into the crosswalk and begins crossing the street. Before the pedestrian can reach he other side, a motorist runs the red light and hits the pedestrian. The pedestrian survives, but has sustained some injuries, and is transported to the hospital.

Police report that the pedestrian had been walking “too fast,” and hit the car.

The media dutifully reports this fact. Outraged by this incident, a letter to the editor suggests that “the only solution” to this problem is to require pedestrians to be licensed and insured.

Does that sound far-fetched? Of course it does. That would never happen.

But suppose that, instead of a pedestrian, we are talking about a collision between a motorist and a cyclist. Does that sound so far-fetched now?