Monday, May 05 2008 @ 03:27 PM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
I wounder if the school bus had children on it, can you imagine the impact on them seeing a human being hit and then just left for road kill? We as a society are in a vicious cycle because we think the roads are unsafe we intentionally make them less safe by not affording any tolerance or courtesy to our fellow human being. We have become a society of self absorbed conceited individuals who expect others to be courteous to us while at the same time refuse to be courteous to others by failing to safely pass a cyclists and failing to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. What are we teaching our kids with all this? That the roads are not only unsafe but they should be unsafe for all but the heaviest armor plated SUV. While this might be good for SUV sales the tragic impact that it has on our kids and on elderly is unmeasurable (the young and the old are over represented in crashes and fatalities respectively.) We teach pedestrians that cars do not stop for them at crosswalks so they illegally cross mid-block because they think it is safer which results in more crashes and fatalities. We teach cyclists that its their duty to avoid cars (by law, it is the motorists responsibility) so they ride illegally against traffic thinking it is safer till some car pulls out of a driveway or intersection not expecting contraflow traffic and is more likely to result in a fatality then if they were riding in the road and following the same rules as motor vehicles. Yet as a society we have deemed that getting home as fast and reckless as possible to watch TV is a superior use of our public roadways and motorists have a "right" to put other road users at risk of life and limb in pursuit of not missing a TV show (most pedestrian accidents happen during the evening rush hour.)
This rudeness has paid off with Maryland being in the top 10 states with the highest percentage of pedestrian traffic fatalities and slowly this is getting the attention of more police departments. I am told that Baltimore city police will be doing pedestrian stings over the summer and other operations to help improve safety in Baltimore.