Pedestrians


A friend was recently stopped for jaywalking, an archaic-sounding “crime” if ever there was one. No, she wasn’t ticketed, but seriously, folks – is this really something for which the police need to be concerned?

Unfortunately, it may be, since apparently it’s the government’s job to keep us safe, even from ourselves. The quintessential definition of a nanny-state.

Remember when you were a child and your mother said, “Look both ways before you cross the street”? She didn’t have to add,” and make sure there are no cars coming so you don’t get hit” because, after all, we weren’t stupid.

Are people today so much dumber, so clueless, that they can’t cross a street safely? Apparently they are.

I remember when I went off to college, and the move at that time was to make the university campus a “pedestrian” campus. Silly, because there were a lot of cars around, it was a huge campus, and major roads criss-crossed through the campus itself.

I was astounded at the number of (usually) students who were considered smart enough to qualify for a college education, but couldn’t manage to check traffic before attempting to cross the street.

Common sense dictates that cars are much bigger and faster and heavier than a person, so one should very much wish to avoid a collision with said car. Or truck, or motorcycle, or semi. Any or all of the above. Of course, common sense appears, often, to be in short supply.

We have evolved from looking both ways to having marked pedestrian crosswalks; the next step was to enact penalties for not using those crosswalks. And finally, of course, there are the newer laws which state that pedestrians have the “right of way”. Taking this to a logical conclusion, traffic can become backed up or accidents caused simply by clueless individuals attempting to cross streets willy-nilly, at random.

Tell me, please, who is the one that loses this contest? The human being, hands-down, in any kind of encounter with a vehicle.

This can be compared to other nonsensical laws on the books, like helmet laws. Okay, the argument is that, regarding motorcycles, if one chooses not to wear a helmet, and has no health insurance (or sometimes even if he does) and is involved in an accident and incapacitated – society must pay for this choice by underwriting his healthcare. Maybe. Maybe not.

Legislators have decided, somewhere along the line, that people are too stupid to be safe from themselves. Have they not heard of “survival of the fittest”? Of course wearing a helmet on a motorcycle is safer than not – as is wearing a seatbelt in a car. If someone chooses not to, they pay the price, the price of stupidity.

When did we stop becoming a nation of choice, and start huddling under the government wing like a collective bunch of whining children?

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