Automotive Critic Blames Pedestrian Deaths on "Negligent Pedestrians"

New stats showing an increase in pedestrian deaths from automobile accidents have brought attention to urban design issues. But the Wall St. Journal's automotive critic places the blame squarely on the pedestrians themselves.
January 26, 2011, 2pm PST | Tim Halbur
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Sarah Goodyear at Grist was gobsmacked reading critic Dan Neil's recent review of the 2012 Volvo S60 T5 AWD, when he took a detour to rail against pedestrian behavior, saying that some of L.A.'s walkers seem to be "daring me to hit them".

From Neil's review: "The presumption is that pedestrians are defenseless against automobiles and must be protected. Even so, the feds' safety statistics suggest that pedestrians are more often to blame in these incidents. In 2009, nearly 40% of pedestrian fatalities were caused by pedestrians' improper crossing or walking/playing/working in the roadway, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration."

Goodyear comments: "...when people talk about pedestrian behavior, so often the tone is the one that the WSJ's Neil takes-one of sarcastic aggravation at those crazy people who actually want to walk somewhere-or, more contemptibly still, actually have to walk somewhere because they are too poor to travel in the style to which he is accustomed. The 'walking have-nots,' Neil calls them."

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Published on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 in Grist
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