I was supper pumped to get a package in the mail last week. My Headsweats Ambassador swag came in! I ordered blue and orange Race Hat’s and a Woman’s Reversible Beanie. So stoked to get a light weight beanie to keep my head and ears warm, as I have been wearing some that are just not meant for running.
I was also stoked to get some new race hats in different colors. When he saw my cool hats Bill asked “Um, why orange?”
Well, (steps on soapbox), for starts, I like crazy colors. Lime, orange, bright yellow are all colors that I enjoy, but the main reason is, I want to be seen. Not for narcissistic reasons, but for safety.
There is this 4 way stop that is my arch enemy. I have almost been hit there at least 4 times. One time was so bad, I actually had my hands on the hood of the car when they finally came to a stop. I might have yelled out “Stop, Stop STOP!!!” and waved my Italian hands in protest. The reason this light is so bad (and probably every other one in this city) is because people are so focused on the light turning green and getting where they need to be, that they do not obey the other signals and laws…..those being the pedestrian light and the law that says they must yield to the actual pedestrian that could be in the road.
The law in Texas clearly states:
Sec. 552.002. PEDESTRIAN RIGHT-OF-WAY IF CONTROL SIGNAL PRESENT. (a) A pedestrian control signal displaying “Walk,” “Don’t Walk,” or “Wait” applies to a pedestrian as provided by this section.
(b) A pedestrian facing a “Walk” signal may proceed across a roadway in the direction of the signal, and the operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian.
(c) A pedestrian may not start to cross a roadway in the direction of a “Don’t Walk” signal or a “Wait” signal. A pedestrian who has partially crossed while the “Walk” signal is displayed shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety island while the “Don’t Walk” signal or “Wait” signal is displayed.
What this means is, if you are turning right, and have a green light this does not mean “GREEEN! Must step on accelerator and get to where I am going 5 seconds earlier!”. It means “You may proceed IF there is no one in the crosswalk”.
Most people do not watch for pedestrians. I can vouch for that, having had so many “OMG I’m going to die” moments running and on my bike. The focus is on the light turning green and they proceed through without looking, hence my near misses. I wear bright colors so cars can see me and don’t run me over, which increases my exercise satisfaction immensely.
Basically what you need to know is this:
Green light = look for pedestrians. If there is someone there, you MUST WAIT AT THE GREEN LIGHT UNTIL THEY CROSS. I know, stopping at a green light! is agony, but those things walking upright on two legs are called people and your car colliding with them is no bueno, so cool your jets.
If there is no one there, you may carry on.
Make it your new habit if you are already not doing so.
Remember, that person you might mow down in your hurry to get through that light very well could be me.