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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Thank you for not driving

Posted By on Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 4:17 PM

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Let’s think about all of the common reasons why drivers get frustrated with pedestrians—they’re slow, they’re erratic and unpredictable, they’re distracted or inattentive, they don’t obey traffic signals, they don’t wear visible clothing and so on. (There are good pedestrians too, but we don’t complain about them.) Now let’s imagine those people driving the way they walk. A slow, erratic, inattentive driver who doesn’t follow the rules of the road, is WAY worse for everyone who uses the roads; drivers, pedestrians and cyclists alike.

You never know why someone has chosen to be a pedestrian. For many people it’s for financial or sustainability reasons. It could also be that they have an intellectual disability making it difficult to understand the rules of the road; they might be responsibly staggering home while drunk; they might be on a medication that affects their response time; they might be rushing inattentively to get out of bad weather or home to a sick dog; they might be a teenager whose brain hasn’t fully developed the protective awareness measures that adult brains (typically) have; or they might be a terrible driver whose license has been suspended.

As drivers, we are assumed to have adequate reaction times, have committed to minimizing distractions in our cars, to follow road rules,and to look for erratic pedestrians (or cats, or stray children). We have the onus of government-issued responsibility, a pedestrian doesn’t have the same—and might not even be capable of assuming this responsibility. So to all the pedestrians out there who aren’t walking because it’s cheaper or more environmental—THANK YOU! You keep walking, and I’ll pay attention so as not to scare or squish you if you’re walking irresponsibly, even though you might frustrate or startle me. I hope other drivers do the same.

TLDR: Some pedestrians are better off walking; drivers please be patient and attentive to this, and thanks for keeping our roads safe(r) by not driving if you can’t or shouldn’t.
—Pedestrian-compassionate Driver

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