As a Driver, I have a huge beef with the new Crossing lights which feature the flashing hand with a countdown, and the way pedestrians are using these new signs.
It used to be that pedestrians would cross when the little man would appear, and would be able to start crossing as long as he was showing. But, as soon as the flashing hand would appear, pedestrians would no longer "start" to cross. Only those that were mid-cross would complete their crossing.
But now with these new Countdown Pedestrian Crossing Lights, there hasn't been any education for the public on how to use these lights. Therefore, all of the rules that use to apply to Pedestrians, are no longer being followed.
This is no more as true as in the downtown core. The light turns green, the little man appears, and the pedestrians start crossing. After 30 seconds, the flashing hand appears and the countdown begins. Yet, to pedestrians, this isn't a stop crossing hand, this is a "the race is on" hand to determine, ok, there are 20 seconds, or 10 seconds, or even 3 seconds left to make that cross, I can make it if I run, and here I go.
And who gets hurt by this? -If you're thinking the car who has been waiting for 15 lights to make a right turn, then you are correct! You see, this happens both ways. The pedestrians do this going from north to south or south to north for one light, crossing until the countdown has reached 0. And it also happens going from east to west or west to east until the countdown reaches 0.
Cars making right-hand turns have no chance whatsoever anymore to make that right turn.
Eventually, after waiting for 15 lights, no HUMAN BEING can withstand the urge to just say, "FUCK THIS", and make a move in between the j-walking pedestrians to get that right turn in (Lord knows I've done it). Then they are treated with bad looks, and sometimes pulled over by the police for careless/reckless driving.
Sure, the Drivers get all of the blame for this, even when they are simply just trying to drive in a city where the pedestrian controls the roads, breaks the laws, makes it impossible for drivers to drive safely, and the police do nothing.
Today there was an article in the Toronto Star about "Why 7 pedestrians have died in 7 days".
If you take out the instances where the elderly were driving -and killed pedestrians because they can't drive, and you remove the instances where Transit Bus operators (TTC and Brampton Transit) killed people -because they are "above the law" and truly don't care about anyone else on the road ever since receiving the "ultimate right of way" where they essentially can do anything on the road and everyone else should be watching out for them (wow, what a mouthful! Watch for a future blog entry about this), then all you have left are pedestrians getting hit while j-walking (or in other words, breaking the law), and pedestrians getting hit by cars/trucks trying to make a right turn when it's their right-of-way.
At the end of the day, if you want to blame someone for these pedestrian road accidents/fatalities, you should look to the Government and the Police. The Government is accountable for ensuring that these pedestrians understand the laws of the road. And the Police are accountable for enforcing the laws.
You know, its funny how almost every single Toronto Police Officer is an allstar at Traffic Enforcement. Nailing speeders, and HOV lane drivers, and drivers without a front license plate, and yada yada countless useless traffic infraction enforcement. But when it comes to Pedestrians, where are they??
Fantino will go on and on about how there are dangerous drivers out there, and how dedicating the entire Provincial and Municipal Police forces to watching drivers is critical. Yet, here we are, seeing Pedestrian deaths at the highest it's been in years, and nobody is making sure that they follow the rules of the road.
To me, the answer to why 7 pedestrians have died in 7 days is very simple. They don't follow the rules, maybe because they don't know them (thank you Government), or because they don't care (thank you Police).
Yet, will anybody admit that this is the true issue? No. That's why Pedestrians will continue to suffer.
(image taken from:
jackandcokewithalime » Articles » Damn Pedestrians!!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Posted by jackandcokewithalime at 11:38 AM
Labels: Countdown Crossing Lights , Deaths , Drivers , J Walkers , Julian Fantino , Killed , Pedestrians , Toronto , Toronto Police Association , Traffic Enforcement , Useless