I pass this billboard every day. On it, is a simple message really. “Too Many Pedestrians Die On Our Roads” reads the billboard. On the bottom corner of the billboard, it reads “Keep our pedestrians safe”. I agree that the number of deaths keeps on rising and it raises a number of issues in our society. I also agree that both sides could reach a middle ground and move on. The irony is that the middle ground, in this situation, would be considered a crosswalk. A place that, we all agree, is off limits to pass through while a pedestrian is within the boundaries. Crosswalks are the answer and yet, no one feels like they should use them. That’s the problem here.
Crosswalks are awesome
Crosswalks have been around for over 2000 years. They can be seen in the ruins of Pompeii. That’s pretty interesting to me. For the last 2000 years, the issue of pedestrians being hit by on-coming vehicles has been a problem. We have built bridges and alternative routes for the pedestrians. We have built more roads for the vehicles. No matter what, the problem still exists. So how do you solve it? I know, you build another road for cars. Then you let business owners build their shops on that road. The business people have to hire help. Someone has to drive in to open the business. A pedestrian see’s the store and decides that they want to go inside. They have to cross the road. So we put in more crosswalks. Now there is another chance that a pedestrian will be hit by a car. And we do this over and over again. We’re not solving the problem. We just keep on creating the same issue. Building more roads / crosswalks won’t solve the problem. We need a better solution.
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It’s a big problem for everyone
Say someone is running late. This person has 3 minutes to get to work. This person needs to cross the street. This person is half way between two crosswalks. It’s 1,320 feet to either crosswalk. This person decides that clocking in on time is more important than their safety. This person looks both ways and walks into the street. They walk 10 steps and BAM, hit by a car. Just like that, an accident occurs. The police show up and the driver of the car is at fault. Is this right? To me, no it’s not.
Say you’re an airline pilot. A sexy airline pilot. No one wants to be an ugly airline pilot. You’re flying at 32,000 feet above sea level. You’re cruising along. All the sudden, you hit a person flying in a Jetpack. Is the sexy airline pilot at fault for flying an airplane in the only place that an airplane should be? I think not. The FAA would have instructed the sexy airline pilot to fly around the space that the sexy Jetpack pilot was cleared to fly in. You see, there are rules for the air. The same rules go for boats. Not as strict as the air, but there are still rules. If you get hit by an airplane at 32,000 feet, it shouldn’t be the sexy airline pilots fault. I think the same thing is true for cars.
Crosswalks are a safe place for pedestrians to cross the street. It’s not a protective shield, but we all agreed that pedestrians have the right away, while inside of all crosswalks. If you are outside of that crosswalk, you are 100% at fault. Why? because there is a law / rule that states that you must use crosswalks when crossing the street. That’s why some people, not a lot of people, receive J-Walking tickets. Instead, the driver of the car is at fault. For driving a car in the only place that a car should ever be found. The driver is at fault because someone else made a decision to do something wrong. This is the problem that we have in our country.
Ownership is important
If I wake up late, drive over 90mph and get pulled over, it was no ones fault but my own. I should have woke up earlier. I should have only driven 65 mph. At this point, you have to accept the ownership. I think the same thing should go for pedestrians who just walk out into oncoming traffic, to catch the bus. Did I mention that the road this pedestrian is crossing has a green light? Did I mention that the crosswalk, which this pedestrian is not inside of, has a red hand signaling that it’s not safe to cross? And yet it’s still the drivers fault for hitting this pedestrian?
At what point do we hold this pedestrian at fault? No one really knows this answer. I’ll tell you what I learned at a young age. A 3,200-pound vehicle will win, every time, in a battle against a pedestrian. If you don’t want to get hit, do your very best to avoid being hit. Use the crosswalks, and make sure that it’s safe to cross the street.