Listen, I’m just as impatient as the next guy. Â I wish this post was already typed out, edited and scheduled for publishing. Â Microwaves? Â I shouldn’t need to wait 90 seconds for pizza rolls. Â It’s un-American. Â That’s the great thing about having 15 different Words with Friends games going. Â There’s almost always someone ready to play.
You know what I’m infinitely patient about, though? Â Waiting my turn in a busy intersection when I’m on foot. Â That big ol’ red hand? Â That means don’t walk. Â Come to think of it, I remember when the pedestrian sign said either “walk” or “don’t walk”. Â Now we’ve got a silhouette of a eunuch walking and a big red hand. Â Ah, political correctness…unless of course you’ve a big red hand in which case we as a society owe you a huge debt of some sort or other. Â On the other hand, if you’re a eunuch, you’ve got bigger issues. Â But I digress…
I’ve noticed more and more people dashing across busy intersections. Â Granted, they’re in the cross walk which is all well and good; however, they cross against the light. Â It’s stupid enough in this age of cell phone addiction, drunk/high driving, and general driving with one’s head in a dark and smelly place that people think they can beat a car half a block away because “it’s clear”. Â What happens when the functioning alcoholic comes around the corner you never noticed and bounces you off the hood of his ’86 Buick Skylark (no, I don’t know if Buick made a Skylark that year…call it literary license)? Â You lose that fight each and every time.
Remember the first few levels of Frogger? Â Remember how easy it was? Â Later levels increased the difficulty. Â Think of traffic the same way. Â Sure, there are no cars coming. Â It’s totally clear to cross against the light. Â Know what that does? Â That builds a false sense of confidence. Â That, coupled with your insatiable impatience, will spell out your doom.
Case in point:
The other day I saw two high school-aged girls run across an intersection (again, in the cross walk) with the red hand clearly displayed. Â Perpendicular traffic was on-coming and had to stop to avoid
killing hittingÂ them. Â Unfortunately for the girls, I saw it and decided my war against pedestrians trying to make my life harder was in full swing.
I fired the first salvo and wrote both of them tickets. Â No, it wasn’t for jaywalking. Â Totally different issue and a citation I have yet to issue. Â Jaywalking is often misinterpreted. Â Basically, it’s when a pedestrian crosses mid-block between two adjacent intersections that are controlled (i.e. a traffic light).
Of course, I heard them whining to their friends that were walking by that I was giving them tickets for jaywalking. Â I dutifully educated them that I was not, but rather that they were getting a citation for violating the “don’t walk” signal. Â It didn’t take. Â I heard from the school resource officer later that they were still whining about the “jaywalking” ticket.
I also have a new nickname amongst the high school set:
Mean Man on the Motorcycle.
I love it. Â I smell another call out to my graphic design friends to submit a logo for that!
I’ve started to issue more and more tickets to pedestrians in the past few weeks for the same violation. Â It serves a dual purpose. Â First and foremost, believe it or not, I’m trying to keep you knuckleheads from getting injured or killed. Â Having seen fatal pedestrian collisions, I’d just as soon not see anymore. Â Secondly, do you know how much time it takes to investigate, document, reconstruct, and forensically map a fatal? Â A hell of a lot more time than I want to bother with.
So, please, from me to you. Â Just wait the extra 30 seconds for the light to switch over, would you? Â You’re “I didn’t want to make the cars wait” excuse, while seemingly polite, is bullshit. Â We both know this.