Urbanism

Programming Note: Discussing Our Legal Obligation to Drive on ‘Think’

The author of an Atlantic article that rubbed some of our readers the wrong way appears on KERA's 'Think' today. If you think he's a quack, call in.

There were a few readers who took exception to a post I put up last week about an article by law professor Gregory Shill, who argues that the legal system in the United States more or less compels us to drive. Shill’s piece rubbed some of our legal-minded readers the wrong way, particularly his take on how legal liability applies to traffic accidents. Another reader pointed out the Shill’s entire thesis–that laws have been reworked to create a car-centric American culture–could be applied to the way society adapts to any other transportation advancement, like railroads.

To which I say, fine, but I still think there is value to Shill’s observations about the way in which our legal system underwrites a car-driven culture. Land use offers a clear example, and our social attitudes around traffic deaths also underpin the way in which automobile travel has been absorbed into our systematic assumptions about how society should work.

But don’t take my word for it. Shill will be a guest today on KERA’s “Think.” If you think Shill is an “extremely disingenuous individual, or not very smart,” call in. It promises to be an interesting conversation.

 

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