Another day, another pedestrian struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle. At this rate, we shouldn’t worry about advocating for safer streets because nobody in their right mind will ever risk their lives walking or cycling. The Miami Herald reports that a man was struck and killed attempting to cross Federal Highway in Dania Beach on Saturday night. While this story is clearly tragic - I would like to use the Herald’s article to shed some light on some blatant media bias against non-motorized modes of transportation. Our friends at streetsblog first turned me onto the concept back in February. Let’s have a look.

The article opens up with this statement (yes, I copied it verbatim. The missing word and lack of punctuation are part of the Herald’s new Mad Libs reporting strategy):

A man who tried to cross South Federal Highway and apparently stepped into the path of an oncoming ______ was killed in Dania Beach Saturday night

Let’s assume this poor fellow wasn’t struck by an oncoming dolphin but rather a Buick Lacrosse. Notice, the man tried to cross the street - well, yes, clearly he didn’t make it - but the context here is clearly belittling.

Kaufman stopped and waited at the scene for police to arrive. Broward police said in a release the 79-year-old driver did not appear impaired and had not been speeding.

Oh, he wasn’t speeding or impaired? What a relief. We’ll just scrape this guy off your hood and you’ll be running along in no time.

It is not clear why the man — who had just bought a Subway sandwich and a copy of the New York Post — tried to cross the highway amid traffic.

No, It isn’t clear why anyone would want to try (there it is again, did you catch it?) to cross a street. What a ludicrous concept.  After all with a name like Federal Highway, one would think this guy was on a suicidal mission to cross an interstate rather than a modest 4 lane commercial roadway (arterial) which bisects a residential community (please note the elementary school located just 1 block south of Subway).

Perhaps I’m reading into the language here too much or maybe I’m just appalled by the number of pedestrians who die in South Florida every year at the expense of motorists. Articles like these perpetuate the belief that non-motorized modes of transportation are secondary to vehicles. Maybe he was crossing dangerously. Maybe he did take his life into his own hands and exercised bad judgement. But the real point here is that another life was lost and with it went a great opportunity to make a broader appeal for safer streets.

 

2 Responses to Another Pedestrian Killed on South Florida Streets

  1. Vanessa says:

    Just terrible. Hopefully some day people will get off of the phone while driving and pay attention.

       0 likes

  2. mark says:

    Excellent article. No, you’re not reading too much into it. Whoever wrote the garbage article about the “accident” should put him- or herself in the shoes of the deceased’s loved ones.

       0 likes

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