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“I was only speeding slightly.”

April 16, 2012

Via Copenhagenize and Bicycle Dutch.

In case after case where a cyclist or pedestrian is hit and killed by a motorist, the excuse told to police or the press is always the same: “He came out of nowhere.”  But in a city one needs to expect people to always come “out of nowhere” and to drive in a manner that can deal with the unexpected.  Translated to the Rumsfeldian, drivers must constantly be ready for the “known unknowns” of urban driving and slow the heck down.

The Dutch understand this in their bones and as such have produced this public service campaign artfully dismantling the reasons drivers have for speeding, even slightly.  Needless to say, none of them are more important than another person’s life.  Compare this campaign–essentially a form of public shaming–to DOT’s physics lessons for New York City drivers.

From the Dutch:

We all do it every now and then: speeding slightly. Sometimes fully aware, to catch up some lost time and sometimes unaware because we lost focus or we weren’t paying enough attention. Whatever the reason, (slightly) speeding is always very dangerous. Especially in the built up area where there are always unexpected traffic situations. And where you have to deal with vulnerable traffic users like children, elderly and cyclists. Not protected by airbags and seat belts they are the ones who have the largest risk to get seriously injured. Or worse…

And how do the Dutch define speeding slightly?  As going over 30 kilometers per hour, which probably sounds absurdly slow to New York City drivers versed in the metric system.

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