You’d think that at least, generally speaking, almost everyone in society could agree that it’s wrong to kill people. If someone happens to do that with a car, that doesn’t make it any less wrong. They just used a less conventional method.
And yet, it’s also a minor miracle that more people aren’t killed in crosswalks. That doesn’t mean crosswalks are safe for pedestrians. Not by any means. Safety continues to be a big issue. But the way some people drive, you’d think that’s exactly their goal. And it’s something that has to change.
Pedestrians have the right of way
If you’re a pedestrian trying to cross the street, you probably don’t feel like you’re taking your life into your own hands every time you wait for the sign to tell you to cross. But if we’re talking a mid-block intersection that doesn’t have any lights controlling traffic, that’s different. That’s a completely different story altogether.
Just speaking from personal experience, I used to have to cross the street to get to OB Bear, the best Korean fried chicken place within five minutes of my old apartment. But even though I always crossed at a marked intersection, there was no guarantee that the drivers of the oncoming cars would so much as think about stopping. Still, having someone blow by like I didn’t exist felt safer than all the times one driver would stop, prompting the person behind them to veer around them.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s better to automatically assume the driver in front of you slowed down for a reason. If you’re going to try to get around them, it might possibly be a good idea to make sure you’re not about to put anyone’s life at risk. In theory, that could be because you think people’s lives matter, but at the very least, hitting someone is going to mess up your car’s front end. Maybe worry about that if it’s too hard to make yourself care about pedestrians’ lives.
Road rage isn’t an excuse, either
As Gothamist recently reported, a dispute over a parking space in New York turned violent. And then somehow got darker. Watch the YouTube video above with caution because it doesn’t just show a bunch of idiots fighting each other over a parking space. That alone would be sad enough.
No, one of the people involved decided their best course of action was to drive their car into someone else. The driver in question hit the other person so hard, the man went flying, and the car ended up busting through the glass on the front of a nearby bakery. Thankfully, no one was killed even though two people were injured by broken glass.
We’ll admit it’s totally OK to not want your car damaged. If someone comes out swinging a baseball bat, you’re going to want to try to get away. But that also doesn’t change the fact that it’s never OK to run someone over. Ever!
Political protests? Also a no-running-over zone
There are plenty of videos we could embed here, but instead, we’re going to go with this artsy shot of the Fiat 500e. It’s a very cute car, and I say that as someone who personally owns a Fiat 500e. Videos of people driving into protests with their cars, however, are the complete opposite of cute.
You know they exist. I know they exist. We’re just not going to choose to leave it at that.
But also, what kind of insane world do we live in where anyone thinks this is OK? Sure, you may be in a hurry, or you may not like who they want you to vote for. But it’s also not that difficult to keep yourself under control and not drive your car over people. It really isn’t.
Let there be consequences
You’d think drivers who run over other people would face pretty serious consequences for their reckless actions. Unfortunately, all it takes is a cursory read of related news headlines to realize our society really doesn’t want to hold drivers accountable for their actions. Even the commonly used term “accident” takes the responsibility of the driver.
As ABC reported a little while ago, even hit-and-runs rarely result in jail time. In a society that valued people’s lives as much as it values cars, that wouldn’t be the case at all. But instead, we’ve got the current system, and the more you dig into the data, the more upsetting it gets. But as long as drivers continue to think pedestrians are trespassing on their roads, that’s never going to change.