autoAmerican Anarchy

Victims and Celebrities Edition

The poor man was a “victim,” Hoda empathized, her signature empathy dripping all over the studio, within hours of the terrible accident.

It was “purely an accident,” the sheriff confirmed almost immediately, without benefit of lab tests to rule out drugs or alcohol.

And who could argue with that? If your definition of an “accident” is driving an oversized, overpowered SUV over 80 miles an hour – more than twice the legal limit – on a dangerous road.

Oh well. No harm, no fowl…and no ticket or charges.

You can do that when you are famous. Right, Tiger?

Jim Pagels was not famous. He was just a guy on a bicycle on his way to get his Covid shot. “Had to bike through a roundabout over a highway to get my Covid jab,” he tweeted, joking that. “Lifespan maximization function is clearly perfectly well-calibrated.”

Hours later, Pagels was dead. Run over by a Honda Civic at a dangerous D.C. intersection. Course, if you ask the average autoAmerican they’d tell you he had no business being on the road in the first place.

Daunte Wright had his 15 minutes of fame after being pulled over on a routine traffic stop….and then shot to death by an officer who ostensibly meant to taser him instead.

The reason for the fatal stop? He was observed to illegally have air fresheners dangling from his rear view mirror and an expired tag.

“We have concerns that police appear to have used dangling air fresheners as an excuse for making a pretextual stop, something police do too often to target Black people,” said the ACLU of Minnesota.

Ah, but you can do that when you are a police officer in autoAmerica.

Mike Chitwood is sort of famous, being the elected sheriff of Volusia County, Fl. He is also one of the most vocal proponents of cops on bikes in law enforcement.

The other day he was out riding when a woman ran over him and broke his arm.

She was reportedly engaged in online shopping at the time of the, um, accident.

The driver drove away, and when police finally caught up with her she told them she thought she’d hit a mailbox.

“”She did not hit a mailbox. Do you wanna know what she hit?” A deputy said. “Mike Chitwood, the sheriff.”

Chitwood is doing fine. The jury is sill out on the mailbox.

Speaking of semi-famous, Jason Ravinsborg is Attorney General of South Florida. Investigators said Rabvinsborg was on his cell phone when he hit and killed a pedestrian walking alongside the road.

But don’t fret, SD voters. Your attorney general has already pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular manslaughter.

Ha, ha, ha!….Only kidding. He only has to contest misdemeanor charges of careless driving, driving outside of his lane and operating a vehicle while on a mobile device.

You can do that when you kill a pedestrian in autoAmerica.

You can also, apparently, get away with, um, autocide in Oklahoma…so long as it’s just a pesky protestor you mow down.

“In a rare, early-morning vote, Republican lawmakers in the Oklahoma House approved legislation to grant immunity to drivers who hit protesters,” reports the Oklahoman. “On a party-line vote Wednesday, the House passed a bill that grants civil and criminal immunity for drivers who unintentionally injure or kill protesters while “fleeing from a riot.”

The bill’s sponsor, Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow, explains: “This bill simply says, ‘please stay to the peaceful protests. Don’t block roads. Don’t impede on the freedoms of others.”

Heck, we kill tens of thousands of non-protesting pedestrians every year. Why shed crocodile tears over somebody who gets in the way of a monster pickup while marching for truth, justice and…um…the autoAmerican way?

Speaking of road rage, police did arrest North Carolina driver Dejywan R. Floyd after he shot and killed a woman riding in the passenger seat of a car on I-95.

“The police investigation found that a ‘road rage encounter unknowingly developed’ after the couple’s S.U.V. came close to Mr. Floyd’s Chevrolet Malibu during a merge from one lane to another, according to the Sheriff’s Office,” reports the New York Times. “Investigators said that Mr. Floyd then moved to the passenger side of the S.U.V., lowered his window ‘and fired multiple shots into the passenger door.’”

Sorry, pal, but the NRA is going to have to go to bat for you on this one. Even autoAmerican anarchy has its limits.

And finally, here’s a bit of unsettling news from the Autoverse: Reports USA Today: “According to a survey and analysis of driver habits by Root Insurance, increased screen usage amid the pandemic has turned some drivers into ‘Zoom zombies’ on the road. The survey found 54% of respondents said they had trouble concentrating behind the wheel after a video chat.”

“COVID-19 fundamentally changed the way we interact with our vehicles,” says Root Insurance founder and CEO Alex Timm. “As many abruptly shifted to a virtual environment, Americans’ reliance on technology dramatically increased along with their screen time, causing a majority of drivers to carry this distracted behavior into their vehicles.”

Rest easy, autoAmericans. But just to be safe, better stay off the roads after too much screen time.

Until next time……

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