Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Egregious lapses in road safety!

Every year, I write a back to school post wherein I become wistful or contemplative or hopeful or nostalgic. I think this year, I will instead shake my head in amazement.

I live in a small city, rather than a small town, and so we are more easily able to absorb the influx of students in September than is, say, New Haven (Yale), or Charlottesville (U Virginia), whose populations nearly double when the kids come back. No. It's not that bad, but an extra 30,000 or so people still means ... 30,000 more people on the road during rush hour.

Prepare to shake your heads in amazement at the traffic lunacy, the egregious lapses in road safety, I witnessed en route to school today in the family truckster (Toyota Echo) with Munchkin and Pynchon. Bear in mind that we drove a whole 3.2 kilometres.

1. Not so hip student girl on mountain bike cutting across traffic to mount the sidewalk.
2. Hipster student girl on a cruiser bike, in the bike lane, hooray! But EATING A BAGEL SANDWICH. While zooming down a four lane road.
3. Pedestrian eating a sandwich and carrying an open laptop FROM WHICH HE WAS READING while crossing a four lane road.
4. Women driving a sedan with junk piled so high in the back window we could hardly tell what she was doing, only she was weaving across two lanes, unsure quite of where she wanted to go.
5. Woman driving a RAV-4, zooming up the left turn lane in order to pass us, so that she could make it to the red light before us, and sit there.
6. Rear-end collision involving delivery van and subcompact car.
7. Man OPENING SNAIL MAIL while driving. He had a fistful of envelopes on the steering wheel.
8. Two cops in cars, operating a speed trap on a side road. Officers, it's not the speed, it's the stupidity.

What did YOU see in your travels today?