If you’re behind the wheel of a car, law enforcement will let you get away with just about anything — even smashing into a house and pulverizing a crib where an infant was sleeping.
Guess what the police had to say after a driver in the Seattle suburbs did just that? Here’s the story from Tom Fucoloro at Seattle Bike Blog:
Someone learning to drive “mistook” the gas pedal for the brake and smashed through the wall of the Hampton Greens Apartments near the Bellevue/Redmond border Tuesday morning.
The person driving continued into a baby’s room and crushed the crib where the nine-month-old boy was sleeping.
His parents rushed into the room and dug him out of the rubble that used to be his bedroom. By some miracle, the baby was not hurt.
But after only a couple hours of investigation, Bellevue Police decided that nothing illegal had transpired.
“It was purely accidental,” BPD spokesperson Seth Tyler told the Seattle Times. “Our past practice is that we don’t cite the driver in that kind of instance.”
No harm, no foul. Cars will be cars.
No charges of endangering a child. No charges of property damage. Not even a token $42 ticket for “unsafe lane change.”
Our culture of absolving people of all responsibility when — and only when — they are behind the wheel of a car is the stuff of dystopian novels. It’s a world gone mad with motor brain. When you are behind the wheel of a car, you are responsible for what happens with that car. So, accident or not, when you drive through the wall of a child’s bedroom and smash his crib around him, you are responsible for that. Nobody else is. That car did not drive itself. A person drove it.
There is no other imaginable scenario where a person could endanger a baby’s life like this and get away without any recourse. But if you are behind the wheel of a car, the law lines up to protect you.
Elsewhere on the Network: Governor Scott Walker has proposed a new tax on the sale of bikes — and only bikes — reports James Rowen at The Political Environment, noting that Walker’s opponent in the last gubernatorial election was an executive at the Trek Bicycle Company. Stop and Move reports that new bus routes linking Fresno to Yosemite will also provide the first expansion of local transit service in 10 years. And Streets.mn makes the case that America’s dangerous roads are a much more urgent public safety threat than passenger rail crashes.