Like many people who commute to work on foot, I understand the perils of being a pedestrian. It seems as if our transport infrastructure always caters to the needs of the automobile majority, even at the expense of other travelers just trying to get from A to B.
It is not that car-centric communities are necessarily dangerous to others. But they can be when paired with a sense of entitlements, one that says: "the road is for vehicles and anyone else on them is on the wrong place and deserves whatever they get".
That arrogance is why pedestrians get hit even when crossing roadways safely, even on a signaled crosswalk, because drivers just never even consider they might be there, let alone that they should always look for and give way to us. Automobiles give people power, but that is also meant to bring with it vigilance and a sense of responsibility, especially to those traversing the land in slower and more vulnerable ways.
And that does not just mean on foot, but by traditional animal-based forms of transport. Outside of marked highways, these are also permitted forms of travel not mere inconvenient obstacles in the road.
So that is why I despair when I read of a lawyer saying, of a defendant who by all accounts (other than his own) deliberately rammed a horse and rider: "We place more value on the lives of our animals than our humans."
It seems to me that what happens routinely on our roads is that we place more value on the lives of people encased in vehicles than anyone else with a legitimate reason for being on the roadway. Just as on the water, power gives way to sail, every driver should know and respect that rule that power gives way to foot or pedal, or hoof, or paw.
To not only fail to pass slow or wide enough, but circle around and ram a mounted rider (no matter what she may have said or done) is not about just where on the scale of moral merit you place a horse or a woman or a man. (After all, a mounted rider is equally human and animal, and only by circumstance was the animal killed and the rider injured but survived.) It is about whether you are a decent human being, or not.