Monday, July 11, 2005

Distracted pedestrians

I have been noticing a lot of distracted pedestrians lately. They're cropping up everywhere!

Today as I was driving slowly through the office park to lunch I saw a young man walk out of one of the office condos, looking at his cell phone. Without looking, he walked down the sidewalk, stepped off the curb and began crossing the street, assumably to his car. I had to hit the breaks to keep from running him over. It was only then, when my car was just several feet away from him, that he finally managed to pull himself away from that fascinating cell phone to see that there was a car in the street where it belongs, about to run over him, who was also in the street where he does not belong. Normally I would have waved him on to cross the street. But he just looked at me for a split second, stopped walking and then looked back down at his cell phone again. That cell phone must have had some sort of magical powers, with the ability to completely consume its possessor's attention.

After lunch, on my way back to work I saw this young blonde-haired woman jogging, complete in her matching spandex shorts and sports bra. She also had on headphones, which I assume were connected to a small CD player or iPod. She was almost at the corner as I approached the intersection. Without breaking her stride, she reached the corner and instead of turning left to stay on the sidewalk, she continued straight, right off the curb and into the street. That must be some fantastic music she was listening to! It must have been so good that she couldn't be bothered with checking for traffic before plunging into the street. Only after she was already into the street did she look to her right to see me slowing down in order to not run over her. Once again I was not going fast, so I was able to avoid hitting her. However she didn't wait for me to wave her on. She just charged right out into the road, crossing my lane of traffic, then waited on the median strip until it was safe to cross the other lanes.

Doesn't it seem dangerous to you for a young woman to be jogging:
a) on a busy, 4-lane road at lunchtime,
b) wearing headphones
c) alone?
Wouldn't common sense suggest that one jog on less-traveled residential streets? If a motorist were to try to warn her by blowing their horn, could she even hear it over the pumping and pounding of her music? Have there not been enough women joggers abducted, raped, and killed while jogging alone? What is the price they're willing to pay for fitness?

This brings me to another question that has plagued me for years. Why is it that joggers and bicyclists have to run and ride on busy, major, 4-lane roads where there is the highest chance that they will not be seen and therefore be injured? Why don't they run and ride on 2-lane roads? in neighborhoods? on pedestrian trails? in parks? Why is it that they feel the need to compete with SUVs and minivans on major thoroughfares? You know who's going to win in that situation...

And don't let me even get started on parents with children in restaurants who get so distracted with their conversation that they become completely oblivious to their child's rowdy and inappropriate behavior. God, I sound old.

3 comments:

Spencer said...

Glad to see we are not the only state with stupid people! just last week I seen on the news where a guy talking on the phone walk right in front of a truck killed him. How would like to been on the other end of the phone?

Yikes!

Chox said...

It's no different here, either. Tell you what, though...whenever there's some bratty kid running around a restaurant while I'm trying to eat, I always clandestinely trip them so they fall flat on their faces. Then they start hollering, their parents take them outside, and I finish my meal in peace.

Problem solved.

I don't feel bad about doing that at all...had *I* run around a restaurant like that when I was a kid, my not only would have my parents kicked my ass right then and there in front of everyone, I would have gotten it at home, too.

Some women should just take it up the butt or swallow.

Michael said...

Distracted....

I understand that word. I just got your note on my blog and in full repentance, made a post.

I love you.

Mike