Intersections

Dear Mr. Driver of the Red Car,

Remember me? Woman walking down the sidewalk, screaming toddler on her back. You were approaching the intersection with plenty of time to see me and merely slow down to allow me to cross. I was already in the street. When it became apparent that you were not going to, I did the reasonable, sensible, and lawful thing. I stepped back. I also called, “Helllllooo? Pedestrian here,” and waved, just in case you weren’t slowing down because you didn’t see me. This was your cue to stop. And you did. Right in my way, blocking the intersection so that in order to get around you I had to walk INTO the middle of the intersection. Seems to me that’s illegal by the way. You did this so you could roll down the windows and point out the stop sign that traffic has crossing the intersection, and you asked in a snide, sarcastic tone, “Who has the right of way now?”

The answer, my dear Mr. Driver, is I DID YOU JERK.

Do I look like I have wheels? Perhaps your brain just couldn’t process the fact that I had a passenger yet wasn’t a vehicle.

We live in Vancouver, BC. Check out the ICBC website, and the MVA. Pedestrians have right of way at intersections. It’s stop /lights/ and the pedestrian signals that we have to obey – no lights there!

According to ICBC, in 2005 53% of all pedestrian crashes were in intersections; half of those were in intersections without traffic lights. And yet the pedestrians were found at fault for failing to yield to car right of way in only 2% of all pedestrian crashes. Tell you something?

Now, had there been a nearby marked crosswalk, you would’ve had a point. Had I been in the middle of a block you would’ve had a point. Had I been on a bike or even inline skates, you would’ve been quite correct. In fact, had I been on a bike I wouldn’t have blamed you at all as bicyclists in this city seem to think that stop signs don’t apply to them (they do). I get pissed off at them, too. Bikes are classified as vehicles. My work shoes, however, are not.

Instead, you’re just a big head-up-his-ass jerk. And so is your girlfriend, who chimed in with you. Even had I been in the wrong that was totally uncalled for. Fine, my actions were a little on the rude side as well — except I didn’t walk to the middle of the street and stop infront of you to say, “Pedestrian here, this is an intersection — who has the right of way now?” Instead, it was just a fairly polite reminder (no middle finger displays) from the side of the road.

To be fair, as my mother pointed out, I was a bit of a fool myself. I had no idea who was in that car, what his mental state was, or what he was capable of. You may have had a gun and been in serious need of medication.

I’ll close with this, a quote from ICBC to drivers: Always yield to pedestrians (it’s the law).

Sincerely,

Me

ps. Yep, I feel much better now that I’ve ranted.

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