The problem with being a self-described “advocate” is that you are often in the unfortunate position of having to advocate for your cause even when doing so ignores a more important cause. Case in point: Child’s hit-run death in North Sac spurs school safety warnings (Sac Bee)
Safety advocates sounded a grim reminder to drivers and walkers after Monday’s hit-and-run death of a 4-year-old boy outside a North Sacramento school: Drivers need to be extra cautious in school zones, and walkers need to hold on to little ones when crossing a driveway or parking lot.
Yes, obviously parents and caregivers need to keep their kids safe. But in this case we are talking about a hit-and-run driver who ran over a 4 year old boy in a crosswalk and dragged his body into the street. We’re probably not dealing with a fellow parent who forgot to slow down. I grumble as much as the next grumpy old man about lazy parents. But with a hit-and-run it should not require a Criminal Science degree to place roughly 100% of the blame squarely on the driver. If there is a time to ask questions about what the victim could have done better, it is not the very next morning.
If you’re a reporter, what is your inspiration to call up a walking safety advocacy group to get their spin on this story? Since nothing is known about the driver — other than the fact he fled the horrific scene of a child’s lifeless body he had just run over and dragged into the street — we don’t know why he didn’t stop. I don’t know why we should assume that this could have been prevented by the victim or his family, or the neighborhood, or the school. It seems likely it could only have been prevented by the driver.
And if you’re a “nonprofit community organization working to improve the walking environment in the Sacramento metropolitan region,” and you get a call on day 2 of brutal hit-and-run death of a little boy, do you have to pick up the phone?
Finally, does everyone involved with writing this article have to ignore the fact that a helmet and better school traffic control would have done exactly jack shit to prevent this from happening? Those kinds of safety precautions would help when a child jumps out into traffic and a conscientious driver pulls to an emergency stop, or accidentally bumps a kid in a crosswalk, or when too many parents are piled up in the school drop-off area with kids weaving through drop-off traffic. But none of those things happened here: there is not much grey area in this story.
It seems to me a much more valid angle on this story is that the streets of Sacramento are terribly unsafe, fare more unsafe than they should be.
Not to mention, this article’s focus on the victim plays right into the hands of the Sac Bee Comment Krew:
mickiturney wrote on 12/01/2009 01:33:11 AM:
First of all why is a 4 year old riding a razor across a busy street. Second is the grandmother and father cannot speak english-they cannot read the street signs.
ihatetaxes2 wrote on 12/01/2009 06:33:39 AM:
The grand mother was interviewed on TV and couldn’t speak English and this could have been a factor in the accident. If the driver didn’t know why a wild eyed gibberish old woman was banging on his car, he could have driven off in fear of her.
Never knowing that he ran over the small child.
How was she able to call 911, press 2 for Spanish.
Not being able to speak English has killed more immigrants legal and illegal than anything else.
mickiturney [CoolDMZ sez: A twofer!!] wrote on 12/01/2009 07:43:19 AM:
yep it has nothing to do with that-she could have put a helmet on the child, picked herself up some english skills so she could read literature on helmet laws. Plain and simple-educate your self while you are milking from the California teat.
And so forth.