Tuesday, August 14, 2012

An open letter to the guy who almost ran me over this morning

Dear Sir,

This morning, as I was walking to work, I stopped at a busy intersection to press the walk light and wait for my turn to cross. It came on immediately, and so I started crossing.

About half way there, I turned to see you suddenly veering around the corner. I know that you also had the right of way, but I'm afraid you weren't really paying any attention, even as I stood there (I had to stop for you) and pointed at the walk light! As you passed you seemed to be having a particularly animated conversation with the lady beside you. I'm sure you didn't even see me in your rear view mirror--did you look in your rear view mirror?--as you sped away.

I'm glad one of us was paying attention. I just wish it had been the one operating the 1 ton piece of machinery.

The unfortunate part of this is that it happens all too often. I'm not talking about distracted driving, though that's certainly an issue. I'm talking about utter disregard for anyone traveling on foot. Here in Moncton, the pedestrian's rights are few and far between, and when we do get the right of way, our time is either short or interrupted by drivers who also have the right of way. Even if we push a button on one of the many non-intersection crosswalks in the city, it's hard to say if we'll make it to the other side of the road without having to stop and let a car go by. Yes, it's the driver's fault if we're hit, but how many people honestly want to play chicken with a motor vehicle?

I'm not saying the pedestrians should retaliate by walking in the middle of the road at any given time, though some do. I'm saying that the time has come for pedestrians to be a priority for drivers. We all lead very busy lives, but that extra 30 seconds that could be getting you to work a little earlier could also save someone's life.

Sir, you were not on your phone, and you weren't texting, but you certainly weren't watching the road. Please have a bit more consideration for the world around you.

Not-so-fond regards,
The blue-haired pedestrian you somehow missed this morning.

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