Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Jaywalking, we love to do it, dangerously!

I had a scare this morning.

We have just sent DinoEgg to school, our taxi turned out from the car park into a small road and was caught at the traffic light.  It was a 3 lanes road; 2 lanes at our side and 1 for the other opposite direction.  I turned to chat with DinoPapa, from the corner of my eye I saw a shadow dashing across the front of our taxi, I turned slightly to see.  Then my muscles tensed up as I saw a van traveling a high speed zooming pass my side.  Fearing for the worst I braced myself and hope it is not happening RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!  The 40-something lady managed to stop on time, I think she can feel the strong wind from the passing van inches away from her face, but she slipped and fell!  I went "OH DEAR!" then craned my neck to see if she is ok, hoping that she did not slipped under the passing van.  At the same time the light turned green, if my taxi uncle did not see the whole episode he might have stepped on the accelerator and may have ran over her!  Thank goodness none of the above happened.  My still seated taxi uncle's calm face gave me assurance that she is ok.  I sighed a big relieve.

She may have hit her bottom & elbow hard on the road, needed help from a couple from across the road to stand up n limped to the pavement, otherwise she is ok.

However, why did she not use the traffic light which is probably less then 100m away from the spot she dashed out?  Why did she dashes across the road when the cars in our lane are not moving?  To try to out run the van perhaps?  She could have crossed & stand in front of our taxi to wait for the van to zoom pass (ok this is NOT a safe move, so DO NOT try that) before crossing the rest of the road.

Once, many months ago, I got another scare.  I was standing at the roadside waiting to cross the road near my office.  A grandma came up and stood beside me.  When the road is clear (means the traffic light further up is red thus stopping all the vehicles from coming onto this stretch of road) I made my way quickly across the road.  Grandma was walking slightly behind me, slower & with her walking cane.  Instead of walking across, she walked diagonally and we sort of meet further up the road.  I saw her slowly walking, 2 steps away from the pavement I saw from the corner of my eye a car, I almost screamed when I see the car approaching at fast speed,  I stretched out my hand and wanted to pull grandma onto the pavement but grandma but could not as by doing that it will make her fall.  The driver apparently stepped on the brake hard coz I can see the car jerked and thank goodness he managed to stop on time.  I suspect he was not paying attention to the road, you can't miss a person crossing on an empty road.  Grandma, oblivious to the danger she was just in said in a tired voice "leg pain lah, cannot walk, don't want to walk so far to cross the traffic light lah."  O-kay... I understand that but still...  And you think after that she will use the traffic light at the adjacent busier road.  Nope she still jaywalk slowly across it.  I shake my head when I see that.

I'm sure you have seen countless of people doing the jaywalking stunt, I am one of the guilty party.  However I make it a point to jaywalk safely; look around at least twice to ensure there are no traffics coming my way, its not enough to just look left and right coz you have to mind the bicycles or the motor bikes that likes to travel along the pedestrian walkway plus they have a tenancy to spring out from no where.  And when I am with DinoEgg I seldom do that, unless its a 2 lanes road or a quiet stretch of road and always with extreme care, crossing the road hurriedly with my head still turning here and there to watch for any cars & urging DinoEgg to "hurry hurry!".  Even when we are at the zebra crossing I will hold onto his hands tight, look at the car approaching, making sure that its coming to a stop or stopping before we stepped off the pavement.  I have encountered many drivers who just zoom pass at the zebra crossing without looking out for pedestrians, they were more concern on the traffic they are going to turn into, trying to beat any vehicles traveling down the road, forgetting that they are the one who should stop for the traffic on the main road before merging into it.

I mean if you want to do it then do it with extreme care and with safety in mind plus some logic thinking too.  Do not take for granted that you as a pedestrian has a right of way on the road and all vehicles must look out for you, give way to you.  You are but a human made out of flesh and blood, them with some steel, metals, rubber, glass etc traveling at high speed, unless you are made of titanium or have super power you really should not try your luck going against them which may end up getting messy & ugly. 

A little patient, a few more steps, a longer route.
It may take longer time to get to your destination as compare to using all the shortcuts but sometimes they save your butt especially when your guardian angels decided to take a vacation somewhere.

Be Safe Everyone!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


  1. guess jaywalking is lesser in SG comparing to KL. It's like everywhere people try to outdo the traffic in KL, also that we do not have effective pedestrian crossing too..

  2. Jen, there was one incident I can never forget. When Meg was 5 years old, together with a friend of hers were holding hands crossing the road. Her friend's mummy was with me, both of us walking right behind them. The traffic light was in our favor, and we were already halfway crossing the road. A mini bus was speeding, I saw from afar and it didn't stop at the traffic light. If the girls had taken one step ahead, they would have been hit! I pulled them back and my instant reaction was to scream at the driver but of course, he couldn't hear me as he was on the phone. I think the whole neighborhood must have heard me!! And he happily drove off without even realizing what he might have caused. I reported him but because I was not able to give the exact license plate number, he got away scott free. :(