Flashback: Child Died After Biden Transportation Sec Pick Buttigieg Covered a Traffic Light
Last year in December, failed Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was in the news again after failing to secure his party’s nomination, and that time, it was because then-President-elect Joe Biden wanted him to serve as secretary of transportation.
The move, announced by Biden, put the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, in charge of the nation’s road and railways.
“Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a patriot and a problem-solver who speaks to the best of who we are as a nation,” the former vice president said. “I am nominating him for Secretary of Transportation because this position stands at the nexus of so many of the interlocking challenges and opportunities ahead of us.”
“Jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate all come together at the DOT,” Biden continued, “the site of some of our most ambitious plans to build back better.”
Years before this nomination, however, “Mayor Pete” made an ill-fated attempt at transportation planning while leading his little Indiana city.
According to the South Bend Tribune, the city of South Bend put a bag over a traffic light in 2016 after a consultant claimed the intersection of South and Michigan streets didn’t need one.
The light was covered and a notice was posted about the changing infrastructure at the intersection, but community pushback was so fierce that the city decided to simply install new lights there.
In early 2017, however, before the new lights were activated, an 11-year-old boy was struck and killed by traffic at the intersection. An SUV hit the child and his brother while they were walking to their school bus, the Tribune reported.
Despite the fact that the community demanded safety infrastructure for the area, then-Mayor Pete Buttigieg downplayed the city’s role in the child’s death, instead hinting it was the boy’s fault.
“We simply don’t know whether it would have made any difference yesterday morning as two children darted across the street, at an angle, and one of them, outside the crosswalk, was struck and killed,” Buttigieg said shortly after the incident.
Regardless of the children’s behavior, it’s clear that a functioning traffic light would have at least given them the option to safely cross the road.
Instead of focusing on what he could do to fix the dangerous intersection, Buttigieg appeared to blame the young child for having “darted” into the road outside of a crosswalk.
If Buttigieg couldn’t accept responsibility for his traffic decisions in a city of 100,000 people, how can we expect him to manage the transportation arteries of a country with over 300 million people?
While he isn’t involved in such street-level decisions as traffic light placement, Buttigieg’s inexperience means he could still have a major impact on everyone using America’s roadways.
It’s not clear why Buttigieg, a Harvard University graduate and Rhodes Scholar who was deployed to Afghanistan with the Navy Reserve, was given a position for which he seemingly has no experience.
Overseeing American transportation and logistics, the former mayor is now on the frontlines of Biden’s fight against climate change and greenhouse gasses. Airlines and trucking companies, still reeling from COVID-19 shutdowns, will also rely heavily on Buttigieg’s skill in his position.
Buttigieg’s past experience working with transportation does not inspire confidence, but now he is unleashed with wide power over all of America’s roadways.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.