Road Safety: In what way do “Black Lives Matter” the most?

A lost life — any lost life — is a tragedy, and road accidents* are a massive killer, so my title for this post is by no means meant to be annoying or offensive to anybody.

This topic comes from my former home city of Buffalo, NY, so in more ways than one it is a subject dear to my heart.

The original article is “Groups opposed to traffic safety checkpoints to sue Buffalo police,” from the Buffalo News.

Photo of a motorcycle traffic police officer in Buffalo, NY.
A motorcycle traffic cop in Buffalo, NY. (Copyright image.)

What concerns me the most is not what the piece contains — focusing on the claim that a disproportionate number of the traffic safety program “checkpoints… are located primarily in low-income, minority neighborhoods in the city and target people of color” — but on what the article does NOT contain.

The fact is that, around the USA and around the world, a disproportionately high number of road deaths happen in low-income neighborhoods, so this Buffalo scenario has all the makings of a serious quandary.

On one hand, has the Buffalo Police Department got a record of higher road death and injury rates in the poorer parts of the city?  The answer is almost certainly ‘yes’.  But on the other hand, do the residents genuinely believe that it would be preferable to have more people killed in car collisions then to have additional enforcement to prevent some of the deaths?

My question was and still is: In what way do “Black Lives Matter” the most?  America’s roads, outrageously, are on average the scene of more than 110 needless deaths every single day of the year.  Fewer highway deaths and injuries in Western New York would be wonderful.

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Footnote:  In professional circles, the use of the word “accidents” in relation to road deaths and injuries is very wisely discouraged, especially for its use by the media.  Using “accidents” plays to the mindset that crashes which kill and maim people cannot be avoided, but in over 90 percent of crashes that is simply not the case.

Author: EddieWren

Eddie Wren is the CEO and Chief Instructor at Advanced Drivers of North America. His driver safety background is given at: http://www.advanceddrivers.com/ceochief-instructors-resumecvbio/

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