Pedestrians: Rules of road apply to you, too
By Perry Jenifer, 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 08, 2007
KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- You're on foot. I'm driving a vehicle that weighs in at 2 1/4 tons. If we make contact, the outcome is a no-brainer.
Incredibly, some pedestrians just don't get it. Or, they think the rules of the road don't apply to them.
Take, for example, the slender blonde in a white T-shirt, blue shorts and sneakers who crossed Meadows Drive against the red light and directly in front of my vehicle the other day.
The traffic light turned red as I approached the intersection of Meadows Drive and Larcher Boulevard shortly after 4 p.m. I stopped.
When the light facing traffic on Meadows Drive changed to green, I counted 1 ... 2 ... 3 under my breath, then moved my foot from the brake to the accelerator. My vehicle moved forward -- suddenly, there she was. My foot lept back to the brake pedal.
To my amazement, she continued on her way without so much as a turn of her head, apparently unaware she'd been within inches of becoming a bloody, broken hood ornament. Equally surprising, the vehicle behind mine came up short of attaching itself to my rear bumper.
Collecting myself, I crossed the intersection and proceeded toward the Meadows Drive Gate. Actually, it took me all the way to the gate ... to collect myself, that is.
My heart pounded so hard it seemed about to burst through my chest. My stomach fired a knot the size of a golf ball into my throat. Recalling the scene from the movie Casino where a guy's head was squeezed in a vise until his eyeballs popped out, my head felt like what I imagine his must have.
As I drove out the gate, making my way to I-110 and home, those feelings slowly gave way to anger, sadness and hurt. I was angry that she ignored the traffic light. It made me sad to think how badly she might've been injured. I felt hurt that she made me a psychological and emotional victim of her thoughtless act.
I didn't deserve what that slender blonde pedestrian in a white T-shirt, blue shorts and sneakers put