Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Open Season on Pedestrians

In the last number of days pedestrians are probably wondering if someone has not printed a target on their backs and declared open season on them.

I have no idea of the circumstances of all the car/pedestrians collisions in the last days. The police themselves have said that pedestrians need be mindful of cars but if we get right down to it, many drivers still drive too fast, are distracted and often display a lack of courtesy as well as a lack of knowledge when it comes to following the written and unwritten rules of the road.

Turn signals are not optional

Headlights when there are blustery conditions with flying snow is not just a good idea, it can possibly save your life or someone else's.

Let traffic merge one car at a time when someone is stalled in a lane. Don't act like a donkey and squeeze people out thinking it is a game of "win or lose."

Stop swerving from lane to lane. You just end up at the same traffic signal of the grandma you thought you left in the dust.

Know who has the right of way when pulling up to a stop sign, yield or on a street that has parked cars. Yield does not mean merge. If cars are parked on the same side you are driving on, don't try to hog the center line and cause oncoming traffic to have to scream to a halt.

And lastly:

Watch for pedestrians. In all likelihood, you will probably be one at some point if you walk from your car to work, home or grocery store. Imagine how much it would suck if someone ran you over.

As for pedestrians:

Assume that every car out there can end your life. Act accordingly.

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RM said...

I too know nothing of the exact circumstances of the recent accidents, however I do know that pedestrians here consistently cross against the lights, enter the corridor after the light has changed, and cross in the center of the block. People DON'T jay walk in places where there are serious traffic. Rome comes to mind (where you CAN and DO get a ticket if caught jay walking), as do most European cities. It's recognized that you can't expect respect if you don't give it.

One Man Committee said...

There are a lot of places downtown that feel like accidents waiting to happen. Number one is Portage and Smith - someone is going to get killed by one of the many cars that routinely run the run heading north. Another is Main and Bannatyne where southbound cars turn right on red without stopping, often buzzing past pedestrians crossing Main. There are many others too.

Even if you're obeying the rules fully, there are a lot of places where drivers are routinely careless. Those who cross those corners routinely know to look out for such things, but anyone unfamiliar with driver behaviour at those points is at risk.