Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pedestrians Can Do No Wrong?

The recent convection of Anthony Torsell, a young man who, while heavily intoxicated, sped through town and mowed down two pedestrians, killing one and seriously injuring the other, sends some interesting messages. Yes, Mr. Torsell was extremely drunk; he should not have been behind a wheel. Yes, he was speeding. But one of the facts presented in the case was that the accident would not have happened if the pedestrians had not entered the intersection on a "don't walk" signal. So they, the victims, also contributed to the accident. We see this kind of thing all the time around here. Pedestrians walking across the street oblivious as to whether or not they have the right-of-way and whether or not there is traffic coming. Sometimes they walk right out in front of you and expect you to come to a screeching halt. When I was young (yes they had cars back then) I was taught to look both ways and wait for traffic to clear before crossing...even at a crosswalk. People are no longer taught this. They are taught that they can cross any street at any time and the traffic will stop for them, except perhaps for speeding drunks and the writer of this post, who more than once has been tempted to mow down someone who walked out in front of me as I drove down the street. The result of the trail may encourage more pedestrians to engage in this kind of dangerous behavior. It would be nice to be able to drive through town and expect everyone, including the pedestrians, to obey the traffic laws.

So Sayeth The Shack

1 comment:

Jeni said...

That was something I could never really understand - there are signals at various intersections; crosswalks in between the intersections with signals -and at any of these places, if a pedestrian steps out in front of a motorist, the motorist is automatically supposed to stop. on. a. dime! Or be fined. I'm not saying I haven't jaywalked a time or two -or more - in my life, but not without doing as you say you were taught - stop, look both ways, before proceeding across. But now, regardless if a light is red, green or yellow, if a pedestrian steps out, they are given the rightway, same thing goes in the crosswalks that are merely painted on the street but no stop signs, no signals and motorists will also be fined apparently if not attuned to the whims of pedestrians who decide to jaywalk. Even if one is driving at a slow rate of speed, if someone suddenly steps out in front of you and you can't stop in time, shouldn't that pedestrian share some of the responsibility for the actions too?

I don't believe that the driver in this case should have been given a free ride as he was very irresponsible to be driving especially with that high bac -I believe it was .242 or something like that. And, while I am very sorry this tragic accident happened too - one life gone completely; another who will endure who knows how much therapy, etc., still I do think they should share some of the responsibility - at least for their own actions. Granted it is a little difficult for the young man who died to do that, but I think you know what I mean. Safety first should not just apply to the motorists and be solely their responsibility.