On Traffic

Cars hit lots of wildlife. Squirrels. Raccoons. Rabbits. Opossums. Deer. Household pets can also be victims. And what about those odd animals called pedestrians? Well, apparently drivers don’t pay attention to those either.

Unlike animals with brains the size of a baseball or smaller, pedestrians do have one advantage. That is, walk signs. These lights are coordinated with the other traffic lights so that pedestrians will be able to tell when cars have stopped on both sides. However, one must note that this will not deter the occasional driver who runs the red light in a desperate attempt to get to the nearest bathroom or cars that turn when there isn’t a sign that explicitly says “Don’t turn on a red light.”

Another invention designed to help the pedestrian is the crosswalk. These stripes of white paint on the road, unfortunately, are miserable failures when it comes to providing the pedestrian a peace of mind. Some drivers rarely look at yellow crossing signs let alone paint on the road, and to them, a pedestrian is nothing, just as grass clippings spewed out from a lawnmower is nothing.

Pedestrians should also beware of drunken young people in vans if they happen to live near a school as well as roads with few to no traffic lights (as lack of regulation tends to turn a driver’s mind to autopilot). One must especially be aware of sadistic drivers who speed up their monster trucks when a pedestrian is in sight, eager to add a person to their scorecard of dead rodents and family pets.

There’s no doubt about it. “Motor vehicles accidents account for more deaths than all natural disasters combined.” Why do pedestrians have to pay for their environmentally conscientious motives by getting squashed into bloody pancakes along road shoulders? What is it about wheels and engines that turn ordinary people into either numb automatons or raving monsters? I can’t speak for the clueless chipmunk that lives in the stump in the backyard, but I do know that when I see a roaring truck bearing down on me, I run for my life.