April 5, 2009

Yield? Fuggedaboutit.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 2:12 pm


This is the probably the most violated law in New Jersey, with the exception of the laws against bribery and corruption.

I recall finding myself in Los Angeles twenty or so (gack!) years ago, and I was positively astounded by the courtesy of the city’s motorists all of whom stopped as I stood on the curb by a crosswalk and waited for me to cross. I smiled and waved thank-you to every one of them. A few days into the trip, one of the locals informed me that the drivers weren’t being nice; they were simply obeying the law.

In New Jersey, yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk? Ha! Don’t count on it. Any time you step into a street (without a traffic light) around here, you have to do the instamath:

How far is it to the other side”

Do I plan on running, walking briskly or strolling?

How far away is the nearest vehicle?

What is its estimated speed?

Where is the approximate “Death Zone” in the street?

Given the foregoing, can I make it across the “Death Zone?”

It is important to remember that when doing the instamath, you must assume that the oncoming vehicle’s speed will remain constant. Never, ever assume that the driver will slow down upon seeing you in the street. Staying out of the “Death Zone” is strictly up to the pedestrian.

As a result of the widespread violation of, or ignorance of the law and far too many people being turned into Road Pizza, some towns, such as mine, have taken to placing signs such as the one shown above in busy intersections. As you can see, the one above (photographed during today’s groundpound) has been taken down and deposited onto the sidewalk. ”We don’t need no steeeenkin’ signs.”

Life in the Garden State: Adventureland.

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