Thursday, July 31, 2008

From The Streets of Bakersfield

Yesterday in the news was the story of an 82 year old woman who died after being hit by a car while crossing the street in the crosswalk at an intersection. Happens all the time up here in Bakersfield, I noticed when we first moved here that to make an attempt to cross the street was quite literally taking your life into your own hands.

I don't know if it's the long straight wide streets with 50mph speed limits or the general attitude of drivers in Bakersfield or if everyone is just incredibly impatient and in a huge hurry to get wherever it is that they are going to in such a huge hurry, but drivers in this town do not like to have to:
a/ stop
b/ slow down
c/ pull over to the right for ambulances
d/ put down that cell phone
e/ wait until someone finishes crossing the street

At the same time that this accident happened, the sheriff's department was doing a crackdown on drivers who failed to yield for pedestrians in the crosswalk. The news story showed a Sherrif's Deputy-in full uniform mind you-crossing a crosswalk while cars whizzed right by him. Not just one car, but cars on both sides of him as he was walking across the crosswalk. In broad daylight. In full uniform.

My jaw was hanging open in disbelief as I was watching this.

Then the girl doing the news story decided to walk across the crosswalk to see what would happen. She had to stop a couple of times because of cars going by her WHILE IN THE CROSSWALK as she was crossing the street. Again, cars whizzed right by on both sides of her as she was attempting to walk across the street IN THE FREAKING CROSSWALK!! They didn't even slow down.

My solution would be to put those flashing lights on every street corner in Bakersfield, along with huge signs that state the fines for failing to yield to a pedestrian, and also arm everyone who attempts to cross the street with one of those hand held stop signs.

Nah, probably wouldn't make any difference at all.


Meghan said...

Its the law to stop for pedestrians... Absolutley ridiculous!

Richard said...

We had a problem like that in parts of Palmdale and Lancaster. The result is that the city started to put in a LOOOTTT of extra signals. I have no idea what the impact was on fatality accidents on those particular roads, but it sure has made getting to work longer.