With a Chuckle, Daily News Calls for Life-Saving Traffic Tech

We appreciate that the Daily News on Tuesday editorialized in favor of traffic-calming, life-saving traffic cameras. But we don’t understand the paper’s attempt at levity in its recounting of the city’s latest fatality data. Here’s a sample:

Bicyclists showed the biggest improvement in staying alive. They were killed in traffic 80% less last year than the year before.

Would the News crack jokes about murder rates? How about fire deaths? Rapes? Of course not.

Beyond the poor taste on display here, there is no meaningful analysis to back up the call for automated enforcement. For example, there’s the obligatory anecdotal swipe about cyclists disobeying traffic laws,
but nothing about the thousands of motorist infractions that go
unpunished every day throughout the city.

There is no mention that red light cameras are already saving lives and reducing injuries right here in New York, that speed cameras in other areas are hugely effective, or that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has studied automated enforcement and found that it works. And if News editors really wanted to dig in, they could harangue NYPD for withholding vital information on why deadly crashes happen.

Wondering why local media aren’t demanding answers from Ray Kelly about the death of Karen Schmeer? Consider this half-hearted drivel Exhibit A.

  • It all sounds like a video game in their words. Maybe that’s how it looks through the windshield.

  • Are they being disrespectful and too light-hearted about a serious problem, or are they being tongue-and-cheek, using a legitimate literary technique in order to point out just how absurd the lack of respect for human life is in the context of our transportation policy?

    To be honest, that’s probably a similar tone to what I would write such an article in. The idea is for the reader to read it, and think, “Oh my god! This journalist is sadistic, and has no respect for human life! Wait a minute… Our public policy and our motoring culture is sadistic, and has no respect for human life!”

  • Nice thought Jeff, but it doesn’t seem like that to me. From the quote above, the author seems to think that cyclists are largely in control of their fate and pedestrian deaths are something akin to an act of nature/God.

  • Media mouthpieces know who pays their salaries: car companies and big oil. While they used to sing songs to GM (see the USA in your Chevrolet) back in the innocent days of TV, now, they sing their songs of advertiser love in a more subliminal key.

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