Much publicity is being focused recently on the trial of a motor vehicle driver, Jesse Aaron Bleck, whose vehicle struck a cyclist on Exeter Road near Wonderland Road in London, Ontario, on July 21, 2019. As per previous news articles the cyclist, Tristan Roby, suffered major and permanent brain injuries and is currently reportedly confined to a wheelchair and a very altered future. The collision was reportedly a hit-&-run, meaning that the motor vehicle driver knew that the collision occurred and made a conscious decision to escape. Unexplainably Bleck has pleaded not guilty in his trial. But none of the news articles are providing any useful information as to why Bleck is pleading not guilty and there is no useful evidence being publicized to allow any independent collision reconstruction expert to weigh in on the issue.
This is not new news. This sort of situation is just a continual destructive treadmill built in our society that is focused on a specific issue, guilt of a driver, while failing to acknowledge that there is a far more important issue, public safety, and more more specifically, cyclist safety, that is at issue here. In reality it is the actions of many official entities that are keeping cyclists and other vulnerable persons dumb as door posts, making it more likely that another person, unfamiliar with their safety needs will fail victim in some future tragedy. And the process of blaming a specific person and moving on will continue.
Why was Tristan Roby riding westbound on Exeter Road, reportedly near 2300 hours when it would be dark? Was he wearing a helmet? What type of clothing was he wearing? What type of artificial illumination existed in the area where the collision occurred? Did police determine the speed of Bleck’s vehicle from the physical evidence. Where did the impact occur with respect to the width of the roadway? What debris was deposited on the road and where was it positioned? What damage existed on Bleck’s vehicle and what damage occurred to Roby’s bicycle? These are just a few of the numerous questions that could be answered if the report of the official police investigation was made available. But that will never happen. In the twisted logic that surrounds most trials everyone is interested in bending the facts toward their advantage and this does nothing to get to the full truth that is necessary.
What should be obvious to all of us is that protecting the public from tragic events like this is an important matter. Whether the driver or the cyclist in this specific instance is found guilty, partially guilty, or negligent is not the only thing that matters. What should matter even more is that we come to an accurate understanding of how the collision occurred and why it occurred so that we can educate drivers and cyclists about these dangers and what factors matter. It should be obvious to all of us, yet it is obviously not, that it is important to prevent the next future tragedy. And the next future tragedy is just around the next future corner. Yet we continually refuse to educate drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and others, about what factors really matter and when an incident is unfolding that could become a disaster if someone does not change something. We allow many innocent persons to proceed blindly into such situations without the ability to recognize that they are entering into some major danger. And refuse to arm these persons with the knowledge that could save them.