Driver dangerously dodges into crosswalk

Driver dangerously dodges into crosswalk

An elderly gentleman was about to step off the curb to cross

Driver dangerously dodges into crosswalk

Earlier this week I experienced something that I had noticed before, but never this close up.

A car stopped just before a pedestrian crosswalk in a parking lot, to allow a disabled person to get out of the car for a medical appointment. People were on the sidewalk waiting to cross as another car pulled up behind the first car. An elderly gentleman was about to step off the curb to cross when the second car suddenly swerved around the first car and just missed hitting the gentleman, who had stopped in his tracks when I shouted to alert him.

The second car sped off and left us wondering what had just happened. When I remarked to the gentleman that that was a close call, he nodded and laconically replied that he had experienced this situation before.

Really? What happened to the rule that pedestrians have right of way when they are on the crosswalk? What happened to the other rule that vehicles must stop and wait behind a car that has stopped at the crosswalk?

I saw and heard drivers yell and honk their horns at pedestrians to get out of their way as they turned right at a red light. I believe that pedestrians have the right of way once they are on a crosswalk and still have the traffic light in their favour. I also believe that pedestrians have the right of way as they are going in one direction, while the car turning right on a red light is changing direction.

But apart from all these rules I wonder, what could be so urgent that these drivers cannot wait a second longer? Is it really worth it to speed past a stopped car at a crosswalk; to be so rude to your fellow citizen who needs a bit more time to make it across the road?

Just think about this for a minute. What could be the consequence of being impatient, of not wanting to wait a nanosecond to allow a pedestrian to cross safely? The pedestrian’s life, as s/he knows it, could be destroyed and yours too, financially and/or legally. Is this worth it?

Judy van der Boom

Mill Bay