By Robert Gehr © 2015
January 21, 2015 (El Cajon)--I’m the pedestrian you nearly hit with your vehicle. - I’m the person you injured with your vehicle. - I’m the one you killed with your vehicle.
Do you remember me? Who am I? I’m the senior citizen. The person in an electric mobility scooter. The woman pushing a stroller with a child in it. The kid walking or riding a bicycle or skateboard. The average person traveling to some destination.
I have family and friends who love me and would miss me terribly if I were killed.
I’m just like you.
Why are you in such a hurry that you disregard the safety of people who walk? We have the right to occupy sidewalks and cross intersections legally and safely, yet pedestrians are injured quite often and sadly, a few are killed.
I simply cannot understand the blatant disregard by some, for the safety of defenseless human beings.
On a daily basis I see drivers speeding, talking on cell phones, running red lights (often 2-3 vehicles at a time), and much more.
Now I’m not implying that the driver is always at fault. There are many pedestrians who do some silly things too—such as jaywalking in mid-block, walking in a bike lane or wearing dark clothing at night. But remember – when it’s vehicle vs. pedestrian, the vehicle generally wins.
Being nearly hit by a vehicle due to careless vehicle operators has actually become routine for me. I am constantly on guard and watching out for these drivers who seem to be blind and ignorant of people who may be crossing the street - legally or not.
I’ve even had a few who appeared determined to make me run to clear the intersection so they could get to wherever they had to go. Once, I actually was purposely ‘forced’ to literally jump out of harm’s way by a woman driving a pickup truck because she did not slow down for me to cross at the halfway point. She and her passenger laughed at that. I was a bit shaken after that incident. Maybe there are more crazy folks out there than I thought!
Nearly every day I encounter aggressive, ignorant, angry, bullish vehicle operators who seem to feel that pedestrians are an annoyance. Many simply do not come to a full stop as required by law when people are walking across intersections. They keep rolling towards pedestrians, expecting them to hurry and get out of the driver’s way. Often this is done while the driver is furtively looking around for oncoming traffic, no doubt wishing he or she could push the pedestrian along faster as if the driver’s prompt arrival at a destination is far more important than the pedestrian’s life. Time must be valuable after all.
I’ve encountered many drivers who actually go around me well before I clear the intersection and reach the safety of the sidewalk. That is very unnerving!
A driver who hits a pedestrian can face criminal charges and financial liabilities for injuries or a wrongful death, if the driver is at fault. So it makes sense to be careful, for the driver’s sake as well as the sake of pedestrians.
My strong suggestion for drivers? Slow down! Wherever you’re going cannot be so important that you are willing to risk injuring or killing a fellow human being to get there.
Respect and patience goes a long way.
The views in this editorial reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.