Re: Law Suit for Human Scale Access
- Regarding the safety issue, buses (and even more trams and trains) are much safer than private cars (and even more motorcycles) because:
1) Buses are less numerous for the same number of people transported, hence there are much less conflict points with peoples' trails and among them
2) Buses are driven by professionals, while cars are driven (among others) by teenagers, criminals, people with psychological problems etc
3) Buses have much lower speed limits
4) Because of all above features law enforcement and safety rules application (concerning speed, drivers ability etc) is feasible in the case of buses, while is empirically proved that is unfeasible in the case of cars.
The safety of public transit is statistically documented, despite the fact that in most countries are given much less importance than car use. The crucial issue is that safety problems are INHERENT to the car use, but can be eliminated to the public transit use. If any other device (e.g. refrigerators or washing machines) would kill 100.000 people yearly (and maim perhaps even more) in US and Europe (and 500.000-1.000.000 globally), it would certainly be declared unsafe and their producers would face the indemnities tobacco companies are currently face in US.
Regarding the cost issue, buses are not free, but it is feasible to be free for the few people who can not afford a small payment. Also reduced fares may be asked for those who are less wealthy, or fall to categories needing support (seniors, students, having many children etc).
I don't think also that being free to move everywhere implies that you have to be able to move around continuously without carrying the cost for doing this. This is certainly an abusive interpretation of the human right, like the right to eat caviar and lobsters is not implied from the human right to have access to proper food. The mobility (in some extent) is necessary to fulfill basic human needs (procurement of food and clothes, to work, and generally to have opportunities to take part in social life). Mobility is a way to avoid seclusion and discrimination - this is the _essence_ of the human right. This is not a theoretical concern - many low income people or aged people without relatives (to mention only two categories), have perhaps nowadays a real problem with moving without a car and many are forced to move dangerously. If car use is connected to the human right of free and safe movement, then the unemployment benefits for instance should be determined in such an amou!
nt, as to include the expenses of a car (with a chauffeur if you are not able to drive). However I have the impression that unemployment benefits are set with only other human rights in mind (namely housing and nutrition), and I doubt if it feasible to be another way. To have e.g. unemployed people free access to public transit (at least in some degree), is something feasible, and I think most people would find it very logical.
Perhaps these are not valid everywhere, but there are certainly places where the transportation patterns impede some people to be moved safely because of the car dominance. However I agree that legal thinking may be too clumsy and awkward to grasp such subtle (but true) thoughts. It depends on how well the arguments will be presented and how impartial will be the court.
>>If walking (supported by public transit) is not considered as the______________________________________________________________________
>>implied mode of free and safe movement, and driving is regarded as the
>>primary way of moving around, then all these people who can not drive
>>because of various reasons (ie a significant part of the population)
>>should be provided with a car with a chauffeur, which is obviously
>hang on this doesn't work. Why should public transport (not free) be any
>different from cars? Buses are jsut as dangerous as cars. You can't distinguish
>motor vehicles. So you will also be launching against any kind of vehicle that
>could harm people or cost anything. The only difference is one of degree so
>finding a cut -off point is going to be very hard to get any consensus on.
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