I do my best to adhere to traffic laws whenever possible. I do, however, jaywalk on occasion. Yes, I am aware that is illegal and dangerous. But there is something worse: the drivers who stop for me. I’m talking about the ones who stop in the middle of the road (usually with several other drivers behind them honking angrily) and wave at me to cross.
I know, you’re just trying to be nice (and I really do appreciate the sentiment), but what is actually happening is you’re messing with my traffic crossing timing—timing that I am using to make sure that I’m not adversely effecting the proper flow of traffic. In addition, the drivers who tend to stop like this aren’t paying attention to the traffic coming from the other direction; that opposing flow of vehicles is not stopping or even slowly as you graciously (yet sadly, obliviously) wave me to cross.
The drivers, however, that really piss me off are the ones who get mad when I don’t cross. The ones who wave frantically for me to cross, who open up their window to yell at me; the ones who finally give up and give me the stink eye when they get the message that I’m not going to cross. Not only are you breaking the law (as mentioned above), but you have the nerve to get mad when I won’t.
As a lifelong pedestrian, I strive to be aware of the rules of the road to keep from doing something that could get me flattened into a road pancake; as a driver, I also strive to be aware of the myriad pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists to avoid harm them. I know that people, on both sides of the steering wheel, can be heedless of anyone who is not them; it is to those people that this missive is directed.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a blind adherent to laws (thus the jaywalking), but I do know that laws and rules are in place for very good reasons (well, most of the time anyway). After all, the light at a crosswalk is there to keep you from getting killed by a car, but if there are no cars around, isn’t silly to wait at a red light?
As the Dalai Lama said: Learn the rules, so you may break them properly.