This one is going to get me in trouble for sure... Oh well, here it goes...
It seems like almost every day I hear about another Pedestrian in Toronto being hit by a car, or bus, or streetcar or truck, and as bad as I feel about it, if you take a drive downtown, you see nothing but Pedestrians breaking the most basic of traffic crossing laws; laws that were taught in elementary school and even a kid in kindergarten can understand.
Therefore, as sad as I am to say it, if Pedestrians are negligent to the most simplest of traffic crossing laws, then they deserve to get hit.
...What? Yeah, I said it! How else will they learn? Sometimes telling people that "fire is hot" is not enough, some people need to touch the fire in order to understand. Well, maybe the same thing applies with Pedestrians? Believe me, once they get hit, suddenly they will start obeying the laws of the road every time. ;)
DISCLAIMER: In no way with this article is jackandcokewithalime giving an endorsement to hit law-breaking pedestrians with your vehicle, even if they deserve it. jackandcokewithalime does not condone the teaching of lessons to law-breaking pedestrians via hitting them with your vehicle.
Seriously though, if you do see a law-breaking pedestrian crossing the road inappropriately, please just patiently wait for them to finish crossing before proceeding.
Now, of course I would never want someone to get hit by a car, and my statement above doesn't apply to children, though they're not the ones who continuously break the law. In fact, kids are shining examples of pedestrians who obey and follow the crossing laws. It's the adults who seem to have the problem...
So, where is this all coming from, you ask? Well, I'll tell you.
Recently, my wife re-aggrevated an old sports injury (hamstring pull), and her doctor advised her to avoid riding the TTC for 4 weeks or so, just until it felt better. As such, I've been giving her a ride to work every morning, and I've been picking her up after work as well. She works downtown by York and King.
So, every day I come north on Yonge from the Gardiner and make a left onto Front, and then eventually make a right onto York, and then drop her off or pick her up, and then another right onto King, and then a left onto the Bayview Extension, and etc.
And every time I sit at York and Front or York and King, I have to wait for at least 5 lights before I can make my right turn because Pedestrians just can't understand that a walking person symbol means they can cross, and a flashing hand or a solid hand means they can't cross. It's really very simple, yet Toronto Pedestrians still begin to cross, even when the flashing hand is sitting with 1 second left on the countdown. Then, by the time they finish crossing, people are now crossing in the other direction, and the same thing happens again. Next thing you know, 5 lights have passed, traffic is ensnarled behind you waiting for you to make that right turn, you still haven't had the opportunity, and you are ready to just run over the next Pedestrian who breaks the law. And when you finally actually go, the Pedestrians who are breaking the law have the guts to give you a bad look, like it's their right of way???!!!
You see, I don't know if this is just Pedestrians not understanding the laws, or them just smugly ignoring the laws, because Toronto of course had a "war on the car" agenda for the past 2 Mayoral Terms (a la Mayor David Miller), and now Pedestrians simply don't give a damn about cars. I mean, how dare cars use the roads that were designed for them, right? I mean, how dare cars even come downtown, right, you Millerites?
Well, just incase it is the former (Pedestrians not understanding/knowing the crossing laws), here is a quote from the Toronto.ca Traffic website to help you with that:
Toronto.ca - Traffic - Crossing the Streets the Safe Way
The province has established minimum walking times based on a pedestrian walking speed of 1.25 meters per second. While all signals in Toronto meet this standard, most provide additional time for pedestrians to cross the street.
Toronto Transportation Services uses three signals for pedestrians crossing the street. In addition to the walking person symbol, there is the flashing helping hand and the steady halting hand. When the walking person is no longer on the screen facing the pedestrian, the flashing helping hand appears. That’s when the hand on the screen flashes. It means that pedestrians already crossing should continue to do so at a comfortable rate of speed, but those who have not started should not do so. The steady halting hand means don’t cross – pedestrians no longer have the right of way.
It’s all about safety. Use the pedestrian signals to make your crossing as safe as possible.
So, it's very simple. If there is a walking person crossing symbol, you can begin to cross. If there isn't a walking person crossing symbol, DON'T BEGIN TO CROSS!!!! If you have already started crossing before the hand appears, then you may continue to cross. If you see a hand, whether it's flashing with a countdown, or solid, DON'T CROSS!!!
I mean, is that so complicated, Pedestrians??
If you get hit by a car because you started crossing when there was a hand (whether flashing or not), it's your own damn fault, and honestly, you deserve it.
Now let all of the angry pedestrian comments commence... I expect them, even from my wife, as she has admitted to me that she too still crosses when there's a flashing hand and more than 5 seconds on the clock. You see, I'm not playing favorites here. I told her straight up that she then deserves to get hit by a car too. (I then got the silent treatment for the rest of the ride home).
PS: Yes, yes, this is a road rage driven rant... I agree...
PPS: Maybe if they installed right turn advances for cars downtown, that may help things... Anyway, that still doesn't solve the problem of law-breaking Pedestrians...
PPPS: As much as I would hate to have the Police out there wasting their time on ticketing Pedestrians, that could be a great new revenue source for Toronto. I see literally hundreds and hundreds of people breaking the crossing laws every morning and afternoon downtown in Toronto every single day. Giving each of them a $30 ticket, twice every day, for the entire year could make up more than enough money to cover the now abolished Personal Vehicle Tax! Maybe they could then use that money to actually fix the roads for cars... :) I'm just saying...
http://justagwailo.com/flickr/2006/06/12/5876 by Just a Gwai Lo on flickr