On the way home from errands today, I noticed a totaled car on the side of the road. It looked like it had been pushed up onto the sidewalk as the result of an impact. I tried to think another possible scenario to explain the sight - maybe there was an accident and the car was pushed over to the side. But outside of that, what other scenario could there be? It literally looked as if the car was parked on the side of the road, erratically hit by another, and left for the owner to come back to.
If that was the case - and I really hope it wasn't - it doesn't surprise me. Why would anyone want to stick around if they caused such damage to another's property? The whole thing brought to mind the issue of hit and runs involving cyclists, and the total disregard when it comes to fleeing a scene. It doesn't surprise me that people don't take hit and runs seriously when it comes to flesh and blood operators, much less their metal encasements (if any are present).
There are so many stories about drivers getting away with damaging property and taking lives if not violently throwing a wrench in them. While the act itself may be an accident, the act of fleeing is deliberate, whether or not it's done out of fear. In such cases, the fleeing party should be prosecuted, or at least the case should be further investigated. The party who got hit - if they're lucky to have survived - shouldn't track down who hit them because the police department did not take their case seriously enough. I don't say this much, but this is America, people! As cyclists we take pride in our strength but we are still vulnerable. It reminds me of when I'm stopped at a light with drivers, who at times rev their engines and speed off when it turns from red to green. You're in a car, and I'm on a bicycle; of course you're going to go faster than I am. So naturally if a car hits me, who do you think is going to suffer the brunt of the damage?
Thankfully the LAPD is taking steps to bridge their relationship with cyclists instead of burning it down completely. I have to ask, though: if it weren't for the many advocates and citizens who made themselves heard, how long would it have taken, how many more people would have been injured, and how many more would have died until someone paid attention?
I hope I'm wrong about the aforementioned scenario I observed today. Even more so, I hope that LAPD one day proves me wrong and makes a firm promise about how seriously they will take hit and run cases.
Sources: LA Streetsblog