When You Care Enough …

Looking for route information for a Chicago-area bike ride, I came across this dark, ironic and bitterly funny highway-safety site from the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation: drivewithcare.org. It pitches “Bob Fuller’s Roadside Memorials,” a service that promises careless drivers a way to show they regret killing people along the road:

“If you drive carelessly in the City, eventually you’ll kill somebody. When you do, turn to us. Just call from the scene. We’ll deliver a fitting handmade Roadside Memorial in 30 minutes or less. Choose from our handcrafted collection, or personalize your own. A Bob Fuller Roadside Memorial is a tribute to the person you killed. A way to say, ‘I’m sorry.’

Motorist/killers can choose from several themed memorials, including “The Jogger” ($19.95 — comes with a pair of used running shoes draped around a centerpiece cross).

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7 Replies to “When You Care Enough …”

  1. Can that possibly be real? Good find, either way.
    A month or so ago, someone committed suicide by hanging himself in the playground area of a nearby park. Park workers making their early morning rounds found him. The very next day, one of those memorials appeared with a plastic floral cross, a stuffed bear, and some of those small mylar balloons that rarely go flat. I drive by this everyday on the way to work.

  2. I see these things all the time too. In NYC they are often related to gang shootings and can get very involved…balloons, candles and some pretty detailed spray paintings.

  3. No, it’s pure satire. It’s obviously meant to capture some media buzz as well as communicate a point about driving safety. Wonder how well it will go over if it comes to wider attention (the site looks like it was just launched last week).
    Those shrines are everywhere out here, too. When I last worked in San Francisco, a police officer shot and killed a car-chase suspect right across a construction site from where I was working; I could see the scene from my desk. Next day, there was a home-made poster and letters and all sorts of candles mourning the guy who’d been killed. In fact, I think of these things as some form of folk art; I’ve thought about driving around and photographing some of these places and trying to collect the stories connected with them.

  4. Dan, I remember when that happened. Not because it made the national news or even CNN, but because I read your blog entry on the event.
    jb, we’ve had a few gang related killings back here, too. Though, no where near the amount you have in NYC. Something about a murder makes those memorials seem even more depressing. Especially when it’s a kid that was killed.

  5. Is this funny? No its not. People are dying out there and this site is trying to get folks to think about their driving behavior. Wow. Pass it around.

  6. Gee, thanks, Rob — that was completely lost on me.
    Suggestion: If you don’t want folks to comment on the tragic irony employed in the site’s message, drop the irony. And yes, as a cyclist and as a driver, I do take the message seriously.

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