In the past few weeks, I’ve witnessed an alarming number of people flagrantly ignoring the rules of the road.
I watched a person in a sedan run a red light at Horsetooth and Mason. And I don’t mean that they entered the intersection on a yellow and left when it was red. And I don’t mean they entered when it was red, but they made it through before the cross traffic started through the intersection. I mean the cross traffic was already moving and the sedan and a 4×4 nearly collided in the center of the intersection. The sedan driver proceeded through, apparently unaware of what they had done wrong. And the 4×4 driver was left shouting and gesticulating and completely pissed off at the brazen disregard the sedan driver had shown.
I’ve seen at least four or five different bicyclists, in various parts of town, wrong-way-riding in the bike lane.
I’ve seen both bicyclists and motorists roll through stop signs without coming to something even approximating a stop.
And I’ve seen a motorist come to a full stop at a stop sign, and then proceed right in front of cross traffic that didn’t have a stop, coming within a foot or two of a collision.
I’ve seen pedestrians cross when they not only had a full-on “don’t walk” hand, but when there was a red light as well and cross traffic had a green.
And just a couple of days ago I was crossing as a pedestrian in a marked pedestrian crossing and had two vehicles nearly plow me down despite the fact that I was most of the way across the crosswalk before they even reached it — which means they had plenty of time to see me and react. And yet it was only when I started waving my arms and shouting that they appeared to notice me and stop.
My point is that in every single one of these interactions there’s a single common denominator. A person was involved. And people are fallible. Sometimes we do wrong deliberately — either because we think we’re in the right and we’re trying to make a point or maybe we choose to break the law for convenience or because we’re in a hurry.
And in every single one of these interactions, the perpetrators put their own lives at risk.
But it was only the interactions with cars that put other people at risk. And that, right there, makes all the difference in the world. It’s one thing to take your own life in your hands. That’s your right. But to put others at risk is irresponsible.
Motorists need to be held to a higher standard because they are in a position to do far more damage than bicyclists, pedestrians, skateboard riders or any other non-motorized form of transit.