When Cycling Becomes a Threat (to the Auto Industry)

I came across this article on Boing Boing over the weekend:

An NRA-lobbied bill in Florida will prohibit doctors, especially pediatricians, from asking patients about their gun-safety. The bill is expected to be signed by Governor Rick Scott. Pediatricians routinely advise parents about seatbelts, bike helmets, etc, but this law will make it illegal for a doctor to offer advice on gun safety unless “it’s directly relevant to the patient’s care or the safety of others.”

That’s the gun lobby’s response to what they call a “growing anti-gun political agenda being carried out in examination rooms by doctors and staffs.”

Doctor Gag OrderIt got me thinking. When you look at the relative political strength of the auto industry and the cycling industry, it’s no contest, is it?

Imagine what the auto industry might do if they get the slightest imaginary hint of a growing anti-car political agenda being carried out in examination rooms by doctors and staffs.

Asking whether a patient has a bike, or talking about childhood obesity? They’ll take that as a stealth attack on their livelihood.

And they might complain, “We take our children to pediatricians for medical care "” not moral judgment, not privacy intrusions.” (That’s what an NRA lobbyist said about the Florida bill that would gag doctors from asking about guns.)

And I’m sure the auto industry will be fine with doctors talking about bike safety, helmets, gloves, and anything that conveys the message that bikes are dangerous.

When cycling begins to be perceived as a reasonable alternative to many of the things that the vast majority of us still do in cars, that’s when we’ll know we’ve gotten under their skin. We will know them by their lobbyists.

Are there already signs of this?

Anyone care to join me in my preemptive paranoia? Or set me straight? Go for it.

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