Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Recently I witnessed an accident at close quarters. Very close quarters indeed.

Whenever I drive, or ride the bus, I marvel at the idiots who think that once they set foot on the road, they are invincible. Ears plugged with iPods, or glued to phones, they stroll across as if their walking pace is more than a match for the approaching traffic. Every time I see them I think 'One day, mate, you are going to discover that these things are hard and heavy, and you present no obstacle to their progress at all'.

You'd expect hedgehogs to behave in this way, and rabbits, and to a lesser extent, dogs and cats. You'd think that people would be smarter, but they're not.

So while what I saw was unpleasant, it came as no surprise at all.

I was on the bus, sitting on the right side at the window. In the UK, that's the side facing the traffic. The bus was stopped at traffic lights, another bus in front and just enough gap between them for a dim young girl to run through. So she did, ignoring the fact that there existed, just past the buses, another lane of traffic moving away from the junction and therefore accelerating.

She made quite a dent in the 4x4 (SUV) she collided with. Then she bounced off the bus and landed in the road.

Police, ambulances, all arrived with impressive speed. The girl was not seriously harmed but off she went to get checked anyway. The woman driving the 4x4 was very shaken and was questioned, but the accident was not her fault. She can't see through buses and could not have anticipated that anyone would be stupid enough to just run out in front of her.

Chalk up one, then. One pedestrian who is now aware that cars are not made of fuzzy felt and that a pedestrian cannot stop them once in motion. She was shaken, slightly cut, possibly had a fracture or two, but was mostly undamaged. She was lucky.

She could have been roadkill.


Southern Writer said...

I'm glad you didn't have to watch the girl die. Although ... did you have your camera handy? Yanno, at that particular moment ... never mind. Forget I said that. It was tacky.

Romulus Crowe said...

I'd like to take the moral high ground but...yes, it did cross my mind.

I didn't quite have the nerve to get the camera out though.

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