The Lights Are on but No one’s Home

By Andrea Freedman

On a regular basis I see countless numbers of people crossing busy streets right in the middle of the road instead of at the lights, or crossing on a red light, often while texting or talking on their cell phones. Apparently some people simply can’t be bothered to walk the extra few feet to the lights or they are just too busy to wait for the signal to change.

Then there are those who obliviously stand right on the edge of the sidewalk so that if a driver makes a sharp right turn, they have little or no time to get out of the car’s way.

We hear so much about distracted driving, but what about distracted walking? It is not good enough to take it for granted that just because drivers supposedly have to stop for pedestrians that they actually will.

Everyone is in such a rush, but if you get hit by a car that couldn’t stop in time to avoid you after you dart into the middle of the road, you will spend far more time in the hospital or worse, ultimately not arriving at your destination any faster.

Elderly people sometimes don’t have the energy to walk the extra distance to the lights, and unfortunately they are one of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to potential vehicular accidents. On the other hand, there are many younger people who seem to think they have nine lives and bolt across the street without a care in the world.

With the large number of daily tragic accidents involving pedestrians, I can’t help wondering why people would not take every precaution they could to guard their safety rather than put themselves at what is really an unnecessary risk. Granted there is no guarantee of safely making it across the street no matter how diligently we obey the traffic lights or no matter how aware we are of our surroundings, but it is certainly worth a try.

Although we live in a fast-paced society, when it comes to crossing the street, we all need to slow down; I don’t know about the rest of you, but personally, my life is way too important to me to risk throwing it away just so I can save a few seconds and I would rather err on the side of caution than regret something terrible happening to me, especially if I were partly responsible for it.

I suspect most people who get struck by a vehicle never expect it to happen to them but once it does, there is no turning back. So, the next time you are about to walk across the road without paying attention or waiting for the light to turn green, stop and think for a second how valuable your life is. Otherwise – provided you still have a good leg to do it with after an avoidable accident – you could feel like kicking yourself for being so careless.♠


Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2017


About andfreed

I am a Toronto based writer of articles, columns, essays and novels.

Posted on March 6, 2017, in Weekly Thoughts and Observations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I was reminded of this post the other day when walking back home with by gf from the train station. There was a young woman stood on the corner – almost in the road – playing with her phone. If anybody had come around the corner fast they might have clipped her but what was even more annoying is that the angle of the road was such that we couldn’t see around her so couldn’t cross.

    People are so inconsiderate :/


  2. I couldn’t agree with you more. We live on a busy street and it curves, and, sometimes, when I am on my way to work I see a person crossing in the middle of te road with his earphones on and talking on the phone without looking, and thinking that a driver has an obligation to stop and wait for him. I fear not seeing the person quickly enough and being unable to avoid hitting him. Walking is good for you, so why risk your life just for a couple of minutes of extra cardivascular exercise to safety. GF


  3. Very well said
    It seems common sense isn’t so common


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