I kicked off today by reading in the WaPo that Homeland Central has the highest per capita ratio of pedestrian and biker deaths of any major U.S. city. The article continued by saying that the majority of these deaths took place at intersections, because D.C.'s
drivers have a tendency to speed through turns without checking to make sure that no one is in the crosswalk. This makes sense. I would need a Hindu deity number of hands to count on my fingers the amount of times some
in an SUV has nearly plowed over me as I try to cross the street with the light. The article recommended that D.C.'s
attempt to complete their turns until pedestrians have cleared the crosswalks. This struck me as an eminently reasonable suggestion.
I mention this because, having dropped off Landmom at the front door of the clinic where she was going for a check up today, I needed to make a left turn onto the side street where the facility's parking garage was located. The light turned green with no oncoming traffic in sight. I began turning, making sure to give the pedestrian in the crosswalk ample time to finish crossing and feeling quite content about my attention to safety--I am a defensive driver! I will
not become another statistic in this city's vehicular homicide rate!
--when a burst of police sirens startled both the pedestrian and me. He stopped in his tracks, allowing me to turn and get out of the way of the police vehicle roaring down the street...
...which followed me onto the side street and pulled me over. The officer got out of his car. I rolled down the window, frantically wondering if my break lights were out, if my turn signals were out, or if my tags were expired.
Turns out it was none of those things. The officer had pulled me over to reprimand me for yielding the right of way to the pedestrian in the crosswalk.
"He had enough time to stop and let you through," I was told.
Again: Highest per capita ratio of pedestrian deaths in the nation.
That will be all.