Greg Shill on Legal Subsidies to Cars
In this episode, Gregory Shill, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law, discusses his article "Should Law Subsidize Driving?," which will be published by the NYU Law Review. Shill begins by describing the terrible toll that automobiles inflict on America every year: 93,000 deaths (40,000 in crashes and another 53,000 killed prematurely by vehicle emissions), millions of serious injuries, and many hundreds of billions of dollars of damages due to lost lives alone. Then he explains how automobiles are subsidized not only by intentional public policy, but also by legal rules that prioritize and indemnify driving, while discouraging and stigmatizing other forms of transportation. He argues that this reflects policy choices that we can and must reverse, and discusses effective approaches to reform adopted by other countries, which have dramatically reduced driving and the terrible costs it imposes. Shill is on Twitter at @greg_shill.
Shill recommends the following resources for those interested in learning more about reform:
- Angie Schmitt, How Driving Is Encouraged and Subsidized—by Law, StreetsBlog, Mar. 6, 2019
- The Vision Zero Street Design Standard
- Centers for Disease Control, Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths: How Is the US Doing? (2016)
- Peter Norton, Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City (2011)
- Joseph Stromberg, The Forgotten History of How Automakers Invented the Crime of “Jaywalking” (discussing Norton’s book).
- Fabio Caiazzo et al, Air Pollution and Early Deaths in the United States. Part I: Quantifying the Impact of Major Sectors in 2005, 79 Atmospheric Environment 198 (2013)(discussing 53,000 deaths from road transportation emissions)
- John D. Kraemer & Connor S. Benton, Disparities in Road Crash Mortality among Pedestrians Using Wheelchairs in the USA: Results of a Capture–Recapture Analysis, British Medical Journal Open
- Kelcie Ralph et al., Editorial Patterns in Bicyclist and Pedestrian Crash Reporting (2018) (working paper)
- Michael Lewyn, The Criminalization of Walking, Illinois Law Review (2017)
- Danielle Davis, How the NYPD, the DOT, and the Justice System Have Failed My Sister: Part One (2017) (telling the story of Lauren Davis’s death at the hands of a motorist in Brooklyn, and the cruelty her family experienced at the hands of law enforcement and the city)