blog by

rob kircher

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I’m Dead… But I had the Right of Way

Ok here's one to ponder.  We all know that pedestrians, in a cross walk, have the right of way (in most cases.)  I certainly have no argument with this fact.  If I’m crossing with the light, in the crosswalk, I don’t expect to get run over by a car.  Fair enough.  However, I was taught to look both ways before stepping off the curb and my common sense tells me that in a collision with a 3500lb car traveling a mere 25mph, I’m most likely going to lose.  It seems very simple to me, Common sense. right?

Well explain to me the people who take their “Right of Way” to the extreme by crossing the street, in the cross walk, REGARDLESS of the oncoming traffic. 

Here in DC, along heavily traveled roads such as Wisconsin Ave and Connecticut Ave, there are cross walks in locations w/o traffic lights or walk/don't walk signs.  Well there are idiots out there who exercise their "Right of Way" by simply stepping off the curb and walking across the street. 

“Oh look there’s a truck barreling down the busy road with no chance of stopping in time but I’m walking anyway after all I’m in a cross walk and therefore have the right of way.”

I’m sorry did I miss a memo or something?  Are cross walks now magical zones where no harm can happen to me?

Of course what this means is one pedestrian has just stopped up sometime 6 lanes of traffic as they mosey across the street.  You can imagine the chaos this creates during rush hour.  Cars slamming on breaks and sometimes accordioning into each other. 

This problem is nearing epidemic proportions lately.  I actually saw an AU student get hit on Nebraska Ave the other day and I almost hit some jerk a night or two ago crossing Wisconsin Ave, wearing all dark clothing.  He was lucky I saw him at all!!!I Then he had the nerve to look at me like I was the idiot.  Excuse me buddy but I’m not the one crossing the street, at night, wearing black cloths, as traffic is screaming by.   A few mornings ago, I had to stop short on GW parkway, during morning rush, as two joggers and three bicycle riders just crossed the two lane parkway without hesitation.  I’m not even sure they looked for on coming traffic. The entire line of commuters behind me almost ran into me. 

Each time I have to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting one of these pedestrians, or the truck/car who had to stopped suddenly in front of me, I feel like getting out of the car and explaining to the pedestrian that, although technically in the right, his right of way will do him no good when he's splattered all over the street 'cause he was hit by a truck doing 35 on Wisconsin Ave.  Unfortunately, it will most likely do absolutely no good as these people are so caught up in the black and white of their Right of Way, any discussion of COMMON SENSE would be wasted on them.

Frankly, I just don’t get it.  My life is sooooo much more important to me than my right of way in a cross walk.   I have more important things to do with my time than spend it DEAD on some street because I was bound and determined to make that 80,000 lbs truck stop in a short 10 ft.  You know what?  I’ll give up my right away or walk a few more feet to a corner with a traffic light before I risk my life and hold up traffic just so I could get to the other side of the street.  

PLEASE people exercise your god give COMMON SENSE, how ever little you may have, and don’t expect some car to stop just because you’re in the cross walk.  Right of way or not, you’re gambling with your life and just might lose.  Walk a couple more blocks down to the traffic light.  Your chances of survival will increase 10 fold. 

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