The idea that car deaths are inevitable and blameless is a real problem

Richard West on why he hates cars:

I loathe cars. To begin with they kill lots of people, 3,431 last year in the UK and seriously injure more (35,976). Then I object to the effect they have on my daily life, the cities I have lived in, the noise, atmospheric pollution and domination of public space. How much of Belfast is given over to space for leaving the things on, never mind driving them around. But most of all I hate the weary, powerless apathy that cars generate in the population. Very likely, if you even got past the first sentence, you have probably already muttered, ‘Yes, we know, people die on the roads, so what.’ Well this apathy is no accident, if you will excuse the pun, it happens for a reason…

This conclusion is obvious when you consider even how many people are killed and the supreme indifference with which this is treated. Taking the subject a little more seriously one might note how few prosecutions there are for killing people with cars. Plainly this suggests no one is ‘to blame’ for these deaths, or when they are, say in the case of drunk driving, the sentences are light. But more striking still is the discovery that ALL motorists pay into a fund to compensate the victims of negligent, uninsured and untraced motorists. Any of the various people who have run me over might therefore have very reasonably protested that they had already paid once for the privilege and they were not going to pay twice. [link]


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