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Friday, September 22 2017 @ 04:38 AM UTC

THE INVENTION OF JAYWALKING

Biking Elsewhere-> A CityLab article presents the forgotten history of how the auto industry won the right of way for cars. Browse through New York Times accounts of pedestrians dying after being struck by automobiles prior to 1930, and you’ll see that in nearly every case, the driver is charged with something like "technical manslaughter." And it wasn’t just New York. Across the country, drivers were held criminally responsible when they killed or injured people with their vehicles. In the automobile’s earliest years, the principles of common law applied to crashes. In the case of a collision, the larger, heavier vehicle was deemed to be at fault. The responsibility for crashes always lay with the driver. The auto industry lobbied to change the law, promoting the adoption of traffic statutes to supplant common law. The statutes were designed to restrict pedestrian use of the street and give primacy to cars. The idea of "jaywalking" – a concept that had not really existed prior to 1920 – was enshrined in law. http://bit.ly/2pz6gUr

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.

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