When I first glanced at the picture of the cyclist in Tuesday's paper, I noticed he wasn't wearing a helmet. I'm sensitive about helmets.
When my brother was hit by a car he was thrown off his bike and clear of the car, which saved his life. But he suffered a catastrophic head injury.
After months of rehabilitation, he could walk again and he can still use one arm, for which we are grateful. Few people knew about helmets in 1984; there is no excuse for people to avoid them today.
Then I noticed the cyclist is wearing earphones. That means instead of giving traffic sounds his full attention, he's distracted by music. He's certainly not paying much attention to the little girls he's towing down the middle of the street in a toy wagon. I am sure this is a very nice young man who would never allow anyone to harm these little girls, but he placed them in acute danger.
That toy wagon was never meant to be towed by a bike. Its maximum safe speed is as fast as a 4-year-old can run with it. It is not the speed of a man on a bike. If this man had taken a corner just a hair too fast, that wagon would have tipped and spilled little girls across the middle of the road into oncoming traffic.
Those cars, if they are driving at a safe speed, are going about 25 miles per hour. Could they stop in time? Didn't anyone think to holler at this young man that he was taking an unbelievable risk in bringing children into traffic in a toy wagon?
Three times in my life now I've pulled over because I saw a child in danger and I stopped to make sure the child was safe.
I'm such a busybody, I've scolded kids chasing a ball into traffic. I don't really care if I offend someone. How would you feel if you saw this young man and thought, "Gosh, that looks dangerous, someone ought to tell him," and then heard later that three little girls died that day?
Children can't be protected from every danger; mine ski and ride horses, with helmets of course. We try to be safe while having fun.
But the road is not a safe place to play, and if you see someone who has forgotten that, take the time to remind them.