Friday, March 24, 2006

Red Light Stories

I feel that I've seen a lot of people run red lights lately.

1. A few weeks ago I was crossing the street at Colorado when a woman driving and talking on her cell phone didn't brake in time. Her SUV sailed through the crosswalk before coming to a stop. I told her to get off the fucking phone. I think this is the only time I have ever yelled at someone on the street. The homeless people who had also been crossing the street were quietly appreciative, though seemingly too timid to say anything themselves.

2. A bit more recently I was walking towards the very same crosswalk. I was still about thirty feet away when another woman, also talking on her cell phone, drove through the light in exactly the same way! This time no one was actually crossing the street, though. In strict fairness, maybe I should have shouted at her too. But I didn't.

3. Earlier this week I was standing on the corner when an SUV tried to make a right turn through a red light without slowing or stopping... while another car drove straight through the green light. There was a near collision and the SUV was forced to stop. The guy in the SUV started honking his horn as if he had been endangered by a reckless driver.

4. Another car running a red light... not distinctive, except that another pedestrian and I exchanged a few words on the dangerous drivers out there.

5. Wednesday night. This time I was driving, behind another car that was driving a bit slower than normal, say fifteen miles per hour. When we got to a red light, the 15-mph car just kept on going.

6. Later that same night: a guy in a Mercedes, driving fast and weaving through traffic. As we approached a light which was turning red, he cut in front of me. A few seconds later, he zoomed through the red light. Pleasingly, there was a police car in the immediate vicinity. The cop followed the Mercedes for a few blocks and then pulled him over.


At 12:28 AM, March 25, 2006, Blogger Richard Mason said...

I should clarify that the traffic light and crosswalk in the first two stories are in the middle of a block, not at an intersection. This explains, in part, why cell-phone-talking drivers are prone to drive through it. They're not in danger of colliding with another car, just possibly a pedestrian.


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