[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Running the gauntletI just saw a woman on a bike get hit by a mini-van that ran through a red light. She was lying on the wet pavement in the initial stages of shock. People honked their horns because of the inconvenience.
This is the third time I’ve seen a pedestrian get mowed down by drivers who ignored red lights. I have seen seven children, on six different occasions, almost lose their lives to cars, trucks, taxis, or public city buses running red lights.
So many times I’ve seen police officers sitting at the exact same traffic signal or intersection. On one occasion, a city bus came literally within an arms distance of killing two girls trying to cross at a crosswalk to go to Children’s Grand Park. I telephoned the bus company to report this incident; the operator gave an embarrassed laugh and quietly apologized. On another occasion, a young girl was on the opposite side of the street from her mother, whom I happened to be standing beside.
The light turned red ― the crosswalk light changed to green ― and the young girl, calling to her mother happily, began to run with outstretched arms in our direction. The driver of the small truck was in too much a hurry to stop at anything so insignificant as a red light and continued at a high rate of speed. The mother’s screams brought the scene into slow-motion. Fortunately, by the grace of God, the child was not hit by the truck, but she did come within several inches of losing her life. The driver kept going.
I’m writing to ask everyone to please be careful while walking ― cars are worth far much more than people in this country. It would be a shame if you caused drivers to pause a minute or two in their cars while you were lying face-down on the wet pavement in shock, waiting for an ambulance to come save you.
As your life slowly passes before your eyes, please remember how much of an inconvenience you were to those seven or eight people trying to steer around your broken body. Please think of other people and how important their urgently urgent personal business is.
Please don’t expect anyone to stop for you; they are in too much of a hurry to think of anybody other than themselves; their life is far more important than your own.
by Ryan Nowack