Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Problem With The Cocky Pedestrian

The problem with the cocky pedestrian is that s/he never takes into account the unknown. It is true that, at the constant rate I am going, and at the constant rate you are going, you will finish your mosey across the street just before I reach that spot. However, what if you were to trip and fall? What then?

Or what if I had to speed up to make it through the light? (note I did not say "run a red light", just "make it through the light")

Or, what if a car turned a corner and didn't see you?

What if, while crossing at a crosswalk as the light turned green for the opposing traffic, one car's view was blocked by a truck, and it sped forward as you walked in front of it?

What if you dropped something? Like a cell phone?*

What if a car flipped a U-ey the same moment you stepped off the curb?

A million different things could happen in just a split second. And then if I hit you, it would just become another statistic that encourages Utahns to plaster "HEADS UP" signs onto Trax cars and buses and billboards, alerting automobile drivers to look out for idiot pedestrians.

Here are some signs I would like to see:

"You're a pedestrian. Quit texting and cross the street."

"Pedestrian vs. car: can you guess who will win? Don't step in front of  traffic."

"Motorcycles: obey the laws so cars can 'start seeing you.' "

"Everyone: don't be a jerk-face."

Ok, now I'm just griping, aren't I?

The end.

*I did once see someone drop their cell phone down by the Trax train as the doors opened for him to get on. It wasn't his fault: the phone fell on the sidewalk and skidded off the edge. I could see him as he struggled with wanting to save it versus not getting his arm ripped off by the train. He chose to stay put, and as the train started to move again, we heard a sad crunch. At least it wasn't his hand, right?


Heather Dixon said...

Everyone should probably read this post. Worst offenders: BYU students walked to campus! Man, I swear I nearly took out a dozen...

Funny story about the cell phone. Poor dude.

ol' Bob said...

California offers an advanced degree in pedestrian cockiness. The worst BYU student offenders are probably from California.