I hardly take stuff from the news to blog about, but this particular incident happened pretty close to home.
News spread like wild fire on my Facebook feed yesterday of a video showing a toddler running stray onto the roads, with oncoming vehicles approaching. The toddler got lucky. So did the mother of the child.
Given the road conditions at that time – it’s night time and the traffic lights were green in the favor of motorists – it’s amazing that the first driver actually saw the toddler dash out onto the roads in the first place.
If not for the alertness of the first driver, and immediately honking at other oncoming vehicles to get their attention, the second vehicle wouldn’t have been able to stop in time too. Kudos to both drivers. It really takes some fast reflexes, and awesome breaking system, to stop that instantly. In the past, when manual cars were rampant, we could easily kill the cars by stalling it. It literally could kill your car, by the way, for stalling it at such speeds. It is called an emergency break for a reason, so don’t go stalling manual cars for fun, ok?
The main takeaway I have from this entire incident is not just a simple matter of holding hands. It’s bigger. If you look closely at the video, it is very obvious what transpired before the near-misses.
You never, ever, ever jaywalk. EVER.
Don’t get why?
If you jaywalk and get knock down by a car, you risk dying. Or worst, being left in a vegetable state. But really, you’re just traumatizing the drivers who was put in that situation by you. As a result of your actions, they may end up getting fined and/or going to prison because you won’t follow the traffic rules.
If you jaywalk and the driver swerves to avoid you, saving your life, but ends up losing control of the car and crash, you may have just destroyed his/her family, including the passengers in the car.
Can you live the rest of your life knowing that?
You do it all the time, so naturally, your child(ren) follows suit. You might be careful and get lucky many times, but luck will eventually run out. You or your child(ren)/spouse might just get a visit from the police with a terrible, terrible news.
All three scenarios above can be easily prevented.
Traffic rules are there for a reason. If everyone – motorists and pedestrians – were to follow the rules, our roads will be safe, and innocent lives won’t be lost.
Note 1: This post is specifically on jaywalking. I’m not saying that all accidents are caused by jaywalkers. Errant drivers who do not follow the traffic rules will also cause damaging repercussions to the victims of their rash acts. There are more than one famous examples of road accidents caused by errant drivers in the news, most of which leaving at least one person dead.
Note 2: Jaywalking and other pedestrian-led related accidents was the main theme of my final year project when I was studying at Republic Polytechnic. One of the videos was done was inspired by a real incident that happened when I was in primary school. These videos are child-friendly, i.e. Not gory. So share it with your children if you think it’s good. I think it is. We did score an ‘A’ for it 🙂