CROSSING MAIN STREET
I recently read a letter on facebook addressing the terribly dangerous traffic on Main Street in my little town in New Jersey. The mom who wrote this open letter has almost been run over crossing Main Street twice. To hear it told, it is a miracle that she and her children are alive today. Her letter was addressed to the town PD urging enforcement of traffic laws to make Main Street a safe street to cross.
I lived one block from Main Street in this little town for 12 years. It is a reasonably busy street, but with two traffic lights in the three block center of town, it is pretty difficult for cars to go very fast. I used to see police give out tickets on Main Street three or four times per day. Yes there are some inattentive drivers as there are on any street in the USA, but I never witnessed or heard of an accident with a pedestrian. I almost responded on Facebook, but I have gone that road before. It is never productive. But I have a blog. What fun.
My first hint that this mother was a bit over-reactive, over-protective and perhaps a bit whacky came when I saw a picture of her son. He is dressed in a yellow traffic control jacket and a traffic-cone orange ski hat, an outfit that he apparently always wears when venturing a walk into town. The mom was saying she may never attempt to cross Main Street again.
At the risk of pissing off many a mom, I submit that if you hold your child’s hand and look both ways, crossing Main Street in any little town is safer than taking a shower. Dressing your child in a yellow safety vest and orange cone hat is a recipe for raising a paranoid child who may well have psychological issues when he grows up. If you send him to school like that you might as well put a “kick me” sign on his back and then complain about bullies.
When I was a child there was always one wimpy kid who every day would run to mommy, “Billy pushed me on my bike, he TRIED TO KILL ME!!” This is what this woman sounds like to me. She is being overly melodramatic looking for sympathy and attention.
Her near catastrophe? While crossing the street a car to her right backed up without looking, in order to move to the left turn lane. “If I wasn’t paying attention she would have hit and killed me and my sons!” If you weren’t paying attention you would have been as guilty of the consequences as the negligent driver. YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO PAY ATTENTION CROSSING THE STREET!! How fast was this car traveling in reverse to change lanes? Probably less than one mile an hour.
I was once almost hit crossing Main Street by a moron on a cell phone. I avoided death by about ten yards by stopping, yelling and giving the idiot the finger. Yes there are bad drivers out there, and they regularly get tickets. I would like them all to drive slower and watch where they go as much as anyone, but there have been stupid drivers for as long as there have been wheels.
Go ahead if it makes you feel better, write your letters. Threaten to boycott downtown (as if driving to the Mall is any safer) maybe you will change the world. In the mean time watch where you are going, walk defensively, teach your children to do the same and stop looking for the entire town to feel sorry for your “near demise” at the hands of two reckless drivers.