Video: Driver Plows Through Critical Mass Bike Ride in Brazil [Updated] Video: Driver Plows Through Critical Mass Bike Ride in Brazil [Updated]
The GOOD Life

Video: Driver Plows Through Critical Mass Bike Ride in Brazil [Updated]

by Ben Jervey

March 5, 2011
[Update, 3/2/2011 7:10am ET: According to O Globo, the leading newspaper in Brazil, the driver was arrested early this morning. He is rightly being charged with murder. Huge thanks to commenter victordemartino for the heads up.]

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy issued this statement that puts the incident into broader context.

Sadly, cyclists and pedestrians face subtler forms of this violence each and every day on the streets of Brazil – where over 11,600 pedestrians and cyclists are killed each year (WHO, 2006). The transport system as it currently exists places little value on vulnerable street users such as cyclists and pedestrians. Cities need to do more to raise the awareness of the rights of cyclists and pedestrians as part of the transportation system and to make accommodations for cyclists and pedestrians, so that they can get where they are going safely too.

The cartoon, from Blog do Kayser , responds to the incident. The heavily armored cyclist on the right is, essentially saying, "Yeah, well, I'm from Porto Alegre."

As for the legal case in Porto Alegre: the driver is claiming self defense. No kidding.

Maybe this March, Critical Mass rides throughout the world should be dedicated to our fellow advocates of livable streets in Porto Alegre. If you're looking for some way to get involved right away, I'd steer you to Streetsblog in the immediate term. I've emailed Critical Mass organizers in Porto Alegre (using my pidgin Portuguese) and asked if there's anything more that concerned citizens around the world could do to stand in solidarity.

Ben Jervey More Info

Ben is a writer and editor covering climate change, energy, and environment, and is currently the Climate and Energy Media Fellow at Vermont Law School. He was the original Environment Editor at GOOD Magazine and his work has appeared regularly in National Geographic News, Grist, DeSmogBlog, and OnEarth. He recently worked with the non-profit Focus the Nation to publish an Energy 101 primer. When living in New York City, he wrote a book, The Big Green Apple, on how to live a lower impact life in the city. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.
Some recent articles by Ben Jervey:
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Video: Driver Plows Through Critical Mass Bike Ride in Brazil [Updated]