Dependable Erection

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"I'm walkin' here!"

Yesterday wasn't a good day to be a pedestrian in the Triangle.

A woman was hit in the crosswalk by a turning bus in Chapel Hill.

(Image lifted from WRAL)

A commenter at the WRAL site has posted that she died from her injuries. That's a damn shame. What's got me pissed off about it is the commenters at the WRAL site, blaming the woman for walking in front of the bus. God damn it, people, there are no circumstances under which a pedestrian in a crosswalk doesn't have the right of way. Take your fucking foot off the gas pedal. Even if it means you have to wait 20 seconds to get through the turn. The police have got to start enforcing that law.

As it turns out, pedestrians in North Carolina have the right of way crossing at most intersections, even if there isn't a crosswalk, which appears to be the case in another pedestrian accident, this time on Holloway Street in Durham.
A pedestrian was struck by a car and critically injured Monday morning in the 1700 block of Holloway Street near the Raynor Street intersection, Durham police reported.

The man, whose name was not made available Monday, was taken to Duke Hospital after the 9:57 a.m. accident.

Police said the man stepped into the path of a Lexus driven by Cheri Craun, 36, of Durham. Craun was treated at the scene for minor injuries from glass fragments.

There was no indication that Craun was speeding, police said. No charges were filed.

I particularly like the "she wasn't speeding, therefore no charges were filed" logic expressed by the police. There aren't any pictures of the scene of the accident that i can find online, although i did see some footage on TV last night while waiting out the World Series weather delay. It didn't appear that there are any crosswalks at Holloway and Raynor, although i'm going to try and head out there myself this afternoon and check. But again, pedestrians have the right of way under most circumstances if they're crossing at an intersection just like sailboats have the right of way over motor boats on open water.

I spent two weeks in a much more heavily trafficked city last month where this fact was acknowledged by drivers, pedestrians, and law enforcement personnel. I felt safe walking across the street at any time, and any intersection. Yesterday, i was back in Carrboro at lunch time, and crossing the street with a walk signal, in a crosswalk, three cars made left turns right in front of me, the last one damn near hitting me. I finally had an opportunity to do my Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy impersonation.

But really, law enforcement people. Are you paying attention? You need to start writing some fucking tickets for failure to yield to pedestrians and crosswalk encroachment. That's the only way some of these yahoos are going to get educated about their responsibilities to pedestrians when they're behind the wheel.

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3 Comments:

  • No joke--last night, I was waiting to turn right onto Erwin from Fulton (in front of Duke MC). A car barreled into the crosswalk turning right out of the hospital, with 4-5 pedestrians ~ halfway across Erwin. A Duke PD car was stopped at the light on Erwin, right in front, facing the same direction as the car turned. His lights went on, and I thought, "good he's going to nail the guy for running the crosswalk!"

    Nope.

    The cop then ran through the intersection (pedestrians still present) and blew past that guy to something else.

    By Blogger Brian, at 1:01 PM  

  • I know what you mean. I got hit by a car once this past year because I was crossing the street and a car in a two lane stopped for me and I couldn't see past the van and stepped out into a car. The police basically scolded me for not using the crosswalk and didn't give a ticket to the person driving (despite being really nice people they were driving without car insurance). They left with me the feeling they were going to give ME the ticket by the way they were talking to me. And the van that stopped for me to cross? They sped off as soon as I got side swiped by the car.

    Anyway, The biggest reason I still don't use the crosswalk because I've almost been hit there EVERY TIME I've used it. I have to look out for people not paying attention when turning right on red. Because a lot of drivers just turn without even being aware of what's around them.

    It's so frustrating.

    By Blogger Brandy, at 7:13 PM  

  • Maybe while the DPD is out writing tickets for not stopping at crosswalks for pedestrians, they can also maybe write a few for speeding through neighborhoods. Maybe if they were already doing this, the accident right in front of my house on Sunday afternoon could have been avoided and the two people would not have to be taken to the hospital to treat their injuries.

    By Blogger SteveG, at 10:55 PM  

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