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FAIR RESPONSIBILITY

THE CRC

Many communities have “Share the Road” campaigns where local policymakers place responsibility for road safety of all on the backs of car drivers. 

The driving factor is largely because drivers of cars, trucks, or buses have tons of steel surrounding them, while bikers, cyclists, and pedestrians are almost completely exposed. 

Consider the impact of such policy approaches. There is expectation placed on non drivers to participate in their own safety. The burden is placed externally. 

As such, many places, especially in cities see pedestrians, bikers, and cyclists demonstrate little to no caution while venturing on roads or crossing streets. 

The parties with the most to lose face no incentive to make choices for behaviors that protects their lives. Others are responsible regardless of the actions of the impacted parties. 

In our society, this is a common problem policymakers create by not seeing the forest through the trees. One class is granted complete favor at the expense of all others. Not a true shared environment. 

If the public interest in the “Share the Road” program is to reduce non-driver deaths, some of the liability needs to be placed on non-drivers that purposefully place themselves in harm. Not all, but some.

Nudging people to make better choices that improve their own outcomes and safety is greatly needed in our society. Many responsible people call that personal responsibility. 

As a driver, I do not want to hit a pedestrian, cyclist, biker, or fellow driver so I proceed with caution. When I walk, I prefer not to place myself in the path of a vehicle, bike, or other object that could take my life. 

Additionally, as a person residing in the United States, I do not place responsibility for my economic well being on the backs of anyone else, but myself. Few outside of myself would know my needs and wants. 

Do not take this as bragging, but showing the need for a person with the greatest risk/ benefit in a situation to bear some responsibility to make the right choices and behaviors to increase the likelihood of favorable outcomes.

Life is not linear. Many factors outside of a person’s control can have great impact on outcomes, security, and more. Naturally, people should have protection against the unknown. 

Placing some responsibility on decision making on non-drivers does not negate the fact that drivers should ensure they do not take a life, regardless of inadvertent actions of others. 

The goal is to ensure all parties have at least some skin in the game to make choices that protect all in the mix. All parties have a shared interest in the safety of each other. 

Our society cannot continue to completely shield citizens from the consequences of their choices and behaviors. Making them accept consequences and responsibility can be a good deterrent. 

People should share the road. They should also ensure that their actions contribute to solutions not problems.