Friday, April 13, 2012


A few years ago a good friend of mine was struck in a crosswalk and killed by an inattentive driver.  Now the speed limit on that street near the university has been dropped to 25 mph.  A pedestrian actuated warning with red blinking lights has been installed there.  Yet only last week, while those warning lights were blinking, another pedestrian was hit by a driver trying to pick up a dropped cell phone.

People in a hurry with a lot on their minds and being distracted by electronic gadgets is a recipe for mistakes.

I avoid campus as much as I can for that reason, but I sometimes walk there in the winter because the sidewalks are kept clear of snow.  One morning I was a witness when a young lady crossing the street was struck by a car.
The skid marks left by the tires were easy to see for days.  That pedestrian was taken to the hospital and, fortunately, treated and released.

This week most of the students are away because of a semester break so my morning walk went through campus.

 There is also a fine for driving and texting.

In attempts to get the attention of distracted people the city has passed several laws against multitasking while walking and driving.
 “Like a train wreck, you’re on a mission. Tunnel vision got you blinded.

Hmmm there’s even inflation on jaywalking fines. 
I wonder why an additional $1.50 is listed on the mobile sign.

Better slow down before you lose your ground.
 You’ll miss everything surrounding you.

 Stop and just look around.”

“Look Around”  2010 David Archuleta

"I've walked with very famous people down red carpets over to the crowd of thousands of people, and you'll reach out to shake their hand and they've got a camera in their hand. And they don't even get their hand out, because they're recording the whole time. And you can tell people that you recorded Brad Pitt, but it would be very hard for you to say you actually met him, because you were watching it all through your phone.”  George Clooney


TexWisGirl said...

wow. your post illustrated our society very well. and quite sadly.

Pam said...

A very thoughtful post Leenie. We can be inattentive and accidents happen, or be one of the most attentive people in the world and still be the victim of a tragic accident. I liked the George Clooney quote. It's refreshing that he's not just a pretty face and goes just that little bit deeper into a concept. There are a lot of celebreties I'm sure that would not give it a second thought.

Carletta said...

So sorry for the loss of your friend.
Phones and cars don't mix and really, do we have to be in touch that much!
I hope the signs make people stop and think.
On a happier note I liked your inflation shot.
I haven't thought of David Archuleta since his Idol appearance. Must go google. :)

Mama Zen said...

Great post, Leenie. How can people possibly believe that texting doesn't distract them from their driving?

Sarah said...

Interesting and disturbing post Leenie, and tragic that you lost your friend to such a bad driver. We don't have anything like that here interms of the fines for pedestrians texting-at least I don't think so, but it would be a good idea. Despite having laws about using phones in cars I do see a lot of that going on. They should put a motion blocker or something on phones-though I suppose that would be a pain if you were on a train or a car passenger!

Linda Sue said...

I wish I had a remote clicker off er- I would shut down so many devices!
Even if you are paying attention and doing everything right there are those who will slam into the back end of you ,scooting your car into the walk lane where a mother and her three littles are crossing- baby - killed...
The young girl driver of the bumper- into- back- end , on trial, sentenced, license revoked- she had only been driving for 2 days...bummer, yup.She will forever have been the murderer of the little baby girl crossing with her sisters and her mom- doing it right- and the person who actually did the running over- welll..... hard to say how much that person's grief will allow for happiness ever again.

susan m hinckley said...

Good post -- all the walkers of the world thank you! And I want to know about the extra $1.50 as well...and how come George Clooney gets to be smart AND beautiful? Wondering about that too.

Tom G. said...

I worry about this all the time when I am out riding my bike in the city. I've got my head on a swivel. Also, I see so many people walking down streets, or even crossing them while looking at their phone. Frightening indeed.

Terry and Linda said...

What a mess our world has become. I think cell phones are great for emergencies but to just chat constantly is rather on the sick side. A side that says....I don't want to be alone with my thoughts.

So sad.


CeeCee said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. My oldest son was hit (and run) in a crosswalk. Luckily for all of us, he was treated and released as well. Stitches for a busted scalp, lots of scrapes and bruises. The driver was never caught.
On the same subject, my daughter's best friend was in a car accident recently. Unfortunately, my daughter is defending her friend---"Mom, she only looked away for a second and no one was hurt." She ran a red light and t-boned another car. That's looking away for more than a second and she won't fess up to what she "looked away" to see.