Letter: If you hit me, Mr. Driver, I'm suing the pants off you

Editor:

I am a pedestrian who is sick and tired of almost being hit by drivers who are in a rush.
I would like to state clearly that I never jaywalk, always walk at marked crosswalks, and am well aware of laws. One such law being that a pedestrian should always be halfway across a crosswalk before drivers start turning - another being that the pedestrian always has the right of way.
Today I was crossing at a pedestrian crosswalk on East Columbia. One car stopped to let me across and, as I was crossing, another car whipped in front of me, coming so close to hitting me that I felt the rush of wind pass by my nose. This is a frequent occurrence at the two-lane crossing.

Drivers, if you see the car in the opposite lane has stopped to let a pedestrian cross, that’s a sign for you to stop as well - not speed up. You’d think this would be common sense, but drivers seem to think saving two minutes by not stopping and waiting for me to cross is more important than my life and safety.

They zoom past, sometimes offering a little “Sorry, I’m in a rush” wave. Man, I could not care less. I don’t care if you’re in a rush, if you’re running late to work or to get little Tommy to soccer practice - if you hit me, I’m suing the pants off you. If you hit my dog, I will track you down to pay the vet bill - if she’s alive. And heaven help you if you kill my dog (which has also almost happened a few times).

Maybe if you think your time is more important than my safety and the safety of others, thinking about the state of your wallet will convince you. This same crosswalk is often used by children and dogs.

Another place I often almost get hit is the crosswalk at Braid and Rousseau. I cross here almost every morning to access Braid SkyTrain to get to work and every morning I anticipate getting almost hit - that’s how often it happens. It’s always, every single time, drivers turning while I’m crossing.

Drivers don’t wait until I’m halfway across, ever. I’ve had drivers speed up to try to beat me when I’ve barely taken a few steps off the curb, almost hitting me. I’ve had drivers creep up slowly behind me, right on my back urging me to “hurry up.”

I don’t need to hurry up. It’s dangerous to rush across when crossing as it makes it more likely to trip. As a pedestrian, it can take me an hour to get somewhere that takes a car 15 minutes.

I plan for this. I wake up earlier if I notice a pattern of me running late and being in a rush. I leave a little extra time in case the train breaks down. It’s really not that hard to be responsible.

Why is all the responsibility on me?

If you’re late to work, stopping and waiting for me to cross will only make you two minutes later - hitting me may make you miss a whole day of work. I have no sympathy for in-a-rush drivers. Your time is not more important than my safety or the safety of others. Drivers, pull your heads out of your asses and remember that you share the road before you kill someone.

Kim Boyce, New Westminster

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