I follow a few of the news outlets in my city on Twitter and it seems there have been a rash of auto/pedestrian accidents in the area lately. I frankly do not recall nearly so many happening when I was growing up. Well, my brother got hit when he was simply walking on the side of the road, theoretically safe from most drivers. Well, safe from all except those with lighted vanities installed in the visor, anyways.

Maybe I didn’t notice because of the natural self-absorption that kids and teenagers are famous for, but the news reports of many of the current crop of incidents seem to show that quite a few of the pedestrians were jaywalking when they were hit. Quite the kick in the shorts to the family of the injured/deceased, eh? But

Parents in this day and age seem to be so over-protective of their kids that it is affecting everyone’s safety. Sure, my parent’s taught me that I was supposed to cross at corners or marked crosswalks, but more importantly, they taught me to be smart when using even those socially acceptable methods of crossing the street. My dad even went so far as to basically forbid me from following him into being a construction worker, saying I should work hard at working smartly. I took those lessons and applied them to my pedestrian career. Why walk down to the corner/crosswalk, cross the street, then walk ALL the way back down to mid-block, when the place I needed to go was right across the street? I got so good at jaywalking, I could literally walk across a busy 5-lane street without coming close to getting hit. (Pay no attention to all of those squealing brakes and epithets thrown at me.)

If you want people how to be safe, let’s start by recognizing that people are going to do dumb shit no matter what and at least teaching them how to do dumb shit correctly.

© 2012 by What I Desired to Say….

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