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Road Kill.

When I was growing up, there were some dos and don't of using the roads, which my parents drilled into me. Don't run across the road. Don't walk behind, or in front of a moving vehicle. Use the pedestrian crossing when available. Don't walk out from behind a stationery vehicle, especially buses and trucks. Some of these are common sense, at least if you don't want to get run over. Now you can argue about the pros and cons of seatbelts and the like, but shouldn't it be obvious that getting hit by a car is a bad thing? Yet I see daily violations of these pedestrian safety guidelines.

First violation: while waiting at a stoplight one night, a woman ran across the pedestrian crossing. Because of the breakneck speed at which she was running, I fully expected to see the police or a mob chasing her. The light was on red at the time, and the walk sign was prominently lit. So there was no reason to rush. Kudos to her for using the pedestrian crossing, but why the sprint? Perhaps she was worried that the light was about to change. But had she fallen at that point, dog nyam har supper. While pondering her crazy act, I witnessed her bolting back across shortly after. Go figure.

Second violation: while executing a parallel park today, I turned around in time to see a woman casually walking behind my reversing car. She was busy looking at something in her hand, a booklet of some sort. Maybe she was picking her coffin, because she surely had a death wish.

Crossing on the pedestrian crossing appears to be the exception in this country (the exception being our female Usain Bolt cited earlier). For the third violation I cite a bunch of school children who decided to co-opt South Camp Road. Stepping out into the traffic, they forced a taxi driver and a police car to halt so that they could cross. They are some brave kids to have chanced stepping out within 100 metres of that taxi driver! And had I been that officer, I would have reprimanded them and told them to use the pedestrian crossing next time. I might even have taken a few of them down to the station for a firm talking to, just to shake them up.

For a violation of not crossing from behind a stationary vehicle, you can see my previous blog post "Occupational Hazard". I should add to that list bus conductors, who obviously think themselves indestructible.

While Jamaicans aren't known for being the safest or most courteous drivers, let's not overlook the fact that we are equally bad pedestrians. This country needs jay walking laws! Give motorists a rest, go ticket some pedestrians to make up the budget deficit.
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