See the lines painted on the road in this picture? We sometimes refer to them as a “crosswalk”.
It is important to keep in mind just what they are; lines painted on a road. You may be wondering what I am geting at here. Let me explain.
This morning on my morning commute I saw a person very nearly get wiped out by a large truck. The person was waiting patiently at the corner after pressing the button to get a walk signal.
The light changed to green and the little funky white dude appeared and the person promptly stepped off the sidewalk and proceeded to cross the street. Into the path of a large truck that was running the red light.
My grandfather always told me that road signs are just that, signs. There is no higher power that will come down from on high and make the traffic stop. The signs are an indication to the cars and trucks to stop. That is it. An indication telling the car and truck drivers to stop.
Yes, the pedestrian had the right-of-way. They had EVERY legal right to step off the curb and proceed. However, the truck had the right-of-WEIGHT.
I understand that the car and truck drivers need to be cautious because they are in control of massive pieces of steel and plastic and what not. Yes, car and truck drivers NEED to be aware of what they are doing and should never look down to change the radio station or light a cigarette or look back at what their kids are fighting about or reach for their double-double or try to put a new CD in the player or put on make-up or…but they do. Car and truck drivers are human and they can and they will forget to pay attention to the most important task at hand – driving their car or truck. Shit happens.
So if you are about to step off the curb to cross the street, have a quick look before you step off. For your own safety.
Oh, and the woman from this morning? She spilled her coffee as she jumped back onto the curb. I also learned some colourful new language as she screamed at the truck running the red light.