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Stupid, Arrogant, Self-Entitled Jerk 24

TorontoSun

Screenshot from an absurd Toronto Sun editorial

The title of this post may aptly describe whomever was in charge of the editorial desk for the Toronto Sun newspaper on Tuesday evening.

The Toronto Sun posted an “opinion editorial” entitled “Bike helmet law a no-brainer”, which appears to be more of a childish diatribe than anything that resembles a news editorial.

There are so many things wrong with the article that I don’t know where to begin.

Apparently bicyclists who don’t think that bike helmets should be mandatory are “stupid, arrogant, self-entitled jerks”. From the editorial:

“But mandatory bike helmets are a “no-brainer” for cyclists.

In an ideal world, bicyclists who are too stupid to know that wouldn’t be allowed on our roads, particularly since they tend to be the same, arrogant, self-entitled jerks who also think it’s their “right” to ignore stop signs and red lights, cut across traffic without signaling and run over pedestrians on the sidewalk.”

The article also argues that bicycle helmets should be mandatory because “75% of 129 bicyclists killed in Ontario from 2006 to 2010 weren’t wearing helmets”.

Using that logic, fire suits should be mandatory for motorists because 100% of motorists who burned to death inside automobiles from 2006 to 2010 weren’t wearing fire suits.

And as a commenter aptly points out:

The statement that “75% of 129 bicyclists killed in Ontario from 2006 to 2010 weren’t wearing helmets” is a red herring.  Its a bit like saying 90% of motorists killed were wearing seatbelts so we should pass a law requiring people not to wear seatbelts.  Correlation does not imply causation.  Where are the statistics that show how many died of head injuries compared to how many died of other injuries?

The editorial compares mandatory bicycle helmets to seatbelts. It fails to mention however that automobiles are dangerous, fast-moving killing machines that require these safety devices, whereas bicycles are inherently safe.

The article also falsely claims that driving a car or riding a bike on publicly funded roads is a privilege, not a right. Wrong. Driving is indeed a privilege, but bicycling is a right. Just like walking on publicly funded sidewalks, bicycling is a right that cannot be taken away.

Perhaps the only line in this editorial that makes any sense is:

The coroner’s report makes a number of other sensible, longer-term recommendations to better separate cars and bikes on our roads.

The rest of the drivel in this shocking editorial reads like a bad joke written by an adolescent. It’s hard to believe people are actually paid to write this nonsense.

James D. Schwartz is a Transportation Pragmatist and the Editor of The Urban Country. You can contact James at james.schwartz@theurbancountry.com or follow him on Twitter.

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  • Gary Mac

    Chances are that he doesn’t even ride a bike. These kind of morons never do.

  • Gary Mac

    Chances are that he doesn’t even ride a bike. These kind of morons never do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=771360146 Sheenagh Murphy

    The Star, which I used to respect, is rapidly turning into a price of drivel-driven crap. And unfortunately, their editorials lead the way. Trapped between the lurid yellow journalism of the sun, the self-righteous, priggish and conservative National Post and Globe (interchangeablely tunnel visioned), I was left with the Star. But articles like this and one a few months ago which posted the same kind of misinformation, unbased assertions and LIES about pit bull terriers finally sent me to the Dark Side and I cancelled a 20 years subscription and stopped reading. and agree with Gary Mac.. chances are he hasn’t been on a bike since he needed training wheels.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=771360146 Sheenagh Murphy

    The Star, which I used to respect, is rapidly turning into a price of drivel-driven crap. And unfortunately, their editorials lead the way. Trapped between the lurid yellow journalism of the sun, the self-righteous, priggish and conservative National Post and Globe (interchangeablely tunnel visioned), I was left with the Star. But articles like this and one a few months ago which posted the same kind of misinformation, unbased assertions and LIES about pit bull terriers finally sent me to the Dark Side and I cancelled a 20 years subscription and stopped reading. and agree with Gary Mac.. chances are he hasn’t been on a bike since he needed training wheels.

  • https://www.facebook.com/cullen.carter3 Cullen

    After I KNOW my helmet saved my life after being hit by a pickup truck, I was a BIG helmet-law proponent. That is, until I realized how ridiculous it is to have the government tell us to do commonsense things, like wear a bike helmet while riding a bike.

  • https://www.facebook.com/cullen.carter3 Cullen

    After I KNOW my helmet saved my life after being hit by a pickup truck, I was a BIG helmet-law proponent. That is, until I realized how ridiculous it is to have the government tell us to do commonsense things, like wear a bike helmet while riding a bike.

  • http://www.fullfat.ca Octavian
    • http://twitter.com/BikeRouteCa The Bike Route

      I agree – there are lots of dummies in the press.

      I much preferred the tone of the National Post articles you linked to, but as long as we’re picking up on questionable statements in the media, this one from your second link jumped out at me:

      Chris Selley: “Cyclists are less “secure,” of course. But that’s because cycling is inherently more dangerous than driving — even in European bike-utopias.”

      Where does this come from, I wonder?

      • https://www.facebook.com/cullen.carter3 Cullen

        Yes, I was skeptically curious about that remark too.

    • Tkeen

      Lots of dummies in the press, and they all seem to write for the Sun.

  • http://www.fullfat.ca/ Octavian
  • Bradkilburn

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong here, but didn’t Coroners report mention 27% of cyclists killed were wearing helmets and isn’t Ontarios helmet usage rate sit at about 31%? (based on the Globe and Mail information -
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/cycling-helmet-laws-not-so-clear-cut-on-many-issues/article4366972/ )

    Doesn’t that mean cyclists wearing helmets have been dying at a much greater rate than the bare-headed?

  • Bradkilburn

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong here, but didn’t Coroners report mention 27% of cyclists killed were wearing helmets and isn’t Ontarios helmet usage rate sit at about 31%? (based on the Globe and Mail information -
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/cycling-helmet-laws-not-so-clear-cut-on-many-issues/article4366972/ )

    Doesn’t that mean cyclists wearing helmets have been dying at a much greater rate than the bare-headed?

  • http://twitter.com/BikeRouteCa The Bike Route

    I agree – there are lots of dummies in the press.

    I much preferred the tone of the National Post articles you linked to, but as long as we’re picking up on questionable statements in the media, this one from your second link jumped out at me:

    Chris Selley: “Cyclists are less “secure,” of course. But that’s because cycling is inherently more dangerous than driving — even in European bike-utopias.”

    Where does this come from, I wonder?

  • https://www.facebook.com/cullen.carter3 Cullen

    Yes, I was skeptically curious about that remark too.

  • Tkeen

    Lots of dummies in the press, and they all seem to write for the Sun.

  • Flickaguy

    I agree with everything the paper said. I commute to work by bike and see arrogant bike riders all the time.

  • Flickaguy

    I agree with everything the paper said. I commute to work by bike and see arrogant bike riders all the time.

  • Mr.Bee

    I ride with my helmet on my rack when I blow light cross traffic and when I’m arrogant self-entitled jerk riding for more style points.

  • Mr.Bee

    I ride with my helmet on my rack when I blow light cross traffic and when I’m arrogant self-entitled jerk riding for more style points.

  • Genea Barnes

    I wanted to reach out to the bicycle community and let them know about a kickstarter that I am launching to fund a month long road trip to finish the shooting for my ghost bike project. Hopefully, you forward and repost this link and maybe even become a backer (every dollar helps). I greatly appreciate you taking the time to look at this link and pass it along.

    Check out the project here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1004330446/the-ghost-bike-project

    Thank you!!

    Genea

  • Genea Barnes

    I wanted to reach out to the bicycle community and let them know about a kickstarter that I am launching to fund a month long road trip to finish the shooting for my ghost bike project. Hopefully, you forward and repost this link and maybe even become a backer (every dollar helps). I greatly appreciate you taking the time to look at this link and pass it along.

    Check out the project here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1004330446/the-ghost-bike-project

    Thank you!!

    Genea

  • Pingback: Mandatory Driving Helmets A “No-Brainer” ← The Urban Country

  • cantstoplaugh

    Bottom line is, car vs bike, bike looses. every time. not good odds.