Posts Tagged 'traffic accidents'

Make no exceptions

The morning started out peacefully enough.  Dragged myself down the hill to Help of Ojai, a little early expecting the Highway 150 road slurrying to delay me.  But it was even too hot for slurrying.

Checked out the tires, arranged the seatbelts and cleaned windows on the Help bus.  The birds had been particularly active over the weekend.  Tuned to KUSC, maneuvered out of the lot and drove north on Signal Street.  I passed the bowl reconstruction, the occasional parked car limiting the street to one and a half lanes, and arrived at the always-red light at the corner of Ojai Avenue.  So far so good, even without my morning coffee.

Heading north, the Signal/Ojai Avenue corner is virtually a blind intersection.  The post office blocks your view of westbound traffic (including pedestrians) while the theater severely limits any idea of what’s headed east.  I nearly always refuse to make a right turn on the red for fear of a fender bending  holocaust…or worse.

I am a reasonably conservative driver.  More so as I age.  Even more so with the bus.  Last thing I need is an accident or ticket.  Might lose my job and have to go on the public dole.  Wait, I am on the public dole.

The light turned green.  I cautiously began my re-entry.  Whoosh!  From the sidewalk on my left, using the crosswalk, moving at the speed of light against the red, came an apparently invincible bike rider.  Cheating death because it was me dragging my fanny, rather than someone else who was three minutes late to his first meeting of the day.

Flashes of letters to editor extolling biker rights, motorist crudity and the unfairness of traffic laws applying equally to all.  Another hapless young man flattened by someone in charge of a three ton behemoth.  What might have been.  Sharrows notwithstanding.

 Yes, I know that this unthinking biker was the exception.  Just like bad drivers are the exception.  But death makes no exceptions.  And neither should we.