I'll summarize, you've all heard that a cycling paparazzo knocked Nicole Kidman down.
Fortunately she didn't get hurt, he was cited for multiple crimes as result.In another part of town, a Cadillac ran over and killed a little girl. Police did not issue any ticket and could find "no criminality" in the incident. The journalist reporting the incident was sure to note that the girl "was not holding her mother's hand." You get this don't you? A movie star gets bumped, and citations fly all over a cyclist. An innocent child gets killed and people will insinuate she was responsible. The driver of the car, can run over a pedestrian and "no criminality" can be found in the incident.
Hold that thought and consider this article from the Boston Globe. In it, an investigator from The Hague in the Netherlands, describes the common investigation after every accident between a car and pedestrian or cyclist. Each incident is recreated carefully to examine any possibilities for preventing it in the future, but most importantly, he says the driver of the car is always faulted and held responsible. They consider the automobile to be potentially deadly and therefore the driver is always responsible for the lives of everybody around them. That is the important part, the driver is always responsible for the potentially deadly machine they control!
How long will it take us to understand that? Americans act and legislate as if the automobile is a natural priority and totally essential. I've driven mine once in 65 days, I don't pride myself in that. I just don't see a reason to use one most of the time. But it's not what I see in other Americans and sadly not from American cyclists either. Take a look at this other article/video which was forwarded to me. In it, another Dutch cyclist takes a look at cycling in the United States and sees much of what I see.
It is a leasure activity, not transportation.
It is socially acceptable in America to dress up like an acrobat, get together with friends once a week and scamper around the countryside like a herd of spandex hamsters with no place to go, but using a bicycle as transportation is treated like an act of desperation.