Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Comic Strip
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."
Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
I have been a pedestrian longer than I have been a driver, we all have. After all, you learn to walk many years before you learn to drive.
In Florida, the legal age for driving was 16 (at the time I turned 16... which was many years ago). It is now 18 years of age for an unrestricted license. We (those of my generation and living in Florida) could get a restricted license (AKA "learner's permit") at age 14 (now 15)... which allowed us to drive with an "adult" (any licensed driver 18 and older) between dawn and dusk. We could also operate any motor-driven bicycle or scooter that was rated at 5 Horsepower (HP) or less. Many of us in my crowd, and across the state, took advantage of that and "cheated" just a little on the 5 HP rule... the cops didn't enforce that too strongly so there were a lot of 8-10 HP scooters on the streets ridden by 14 and 15-year-olds. I picked up an 11 HP Allstate scooter from my then future brother-in-law, Van (my sister's eventual 4th husband), and rode it around... a lot.
Although I had plenty of time to learn to drive, I still failed my first driver license road test. But this isn't about driving.
It's about walking. We all learn to walk around 18 months of age (some earlier but a few much later) and walk we do. Actually, a mixture of mostly being carried and a little walking for a year or more until our legs are strong enough to keep up. And it is during this period when we start learning the unofficial rules of pedestrianism.
"Stay on the sidewalk!"
That's pretty much the primary rule, isn't it? All the others pale in comparison. It's a good rule... I know it was the first one I taught my son when he was first toddling. Follow that rule and your chances of being run over by a car or motorcycle are near zero.
Eventually, however, we must... like the proverbial chicken... cross the road. And we begin learning a whole bunch of new rules.
"Cross at the corner." "Cross with the (traffic) light." "Look both ways before crossing." "Watch for turning cars."
I bring this up because of an article I saw in the NY Times whose author seemed offended by the tendency of the authorities to target the pedestrian when there is a spike in pedestrian/car collisions.
I am not. Offended, that is. I think that is the correct way to go. Pedestrians have a greater chance of avoiding a collision than a car and driver do. They are more agile and can stop quicker. But they need to be aware of the danger around them as they enter the street. And, above all, be predictable in their actions by drivers.