Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Schooling Pedestrians

Seldom am I irked by behaviours and etiquette to a point where it warrants an effort for me to pen my frustrations, because in general I believe alcohol is the quasi solution for all of society’s problems – except for stupidity.

I believe that all pedestrians are innately stupid, until they learn to drive or get hit by a car. Only then do they smarten up. As we learn to drive we realize that pedestrians don’t seem to comprehend the theory that in a collision, mass always comes out the victor, hence we never clash with sumo wrestlers in the ring, but it is perfectly fine to throw rocks at them from a distance.

The most common of it all would be the ‘Pedestrian jay-walking syndrome’. It’s the one where the pedestrian is crossing the road from a distance at such a leisurely pace, that even if the car was slow enough to drive Miss Daisy, it would still have to brake for them. He is looking at your on-coming car and thinks that he has his speed calculations all worked out and that he will make it across in time, but in reality we are slowing down for them.

Unless I didn’t get the memo and that LTA is actually deploying pedestrians as speed regulators, then I would imagine that they should have the decency to run if they want to live. Let’s face it, fixing my front bonnet is a lot easier than mending bones.

My office is situated next to a shop that has some tie-up with a tour agency, and I know this for a fact because everyday, a coach brings throngs of PRC tourist to the shop. I cannot begin to even classify the retail shop because it sells everything from home appliances, to cameras to Chinese medicine, if there was space for a stage, I’m pretty sure there would have been getai performances as well.

So every morning when I get to work, I have to deal with the absolute stupidity pedestrians can offer. For one, none of them give a shit about cars trying to pass them, because I think they truly believe that the road was constructed so that they can all gather in the middle of it for a group photo.

Naturally, they also have no consideration or clue about parking lots, because they are constantly pissed at giving up a potential photo taking slot to a car that is trying to parallel park. I can only imagine how much of an inconvenience the cars put them at because it’s truly hard to find another slot worthy of a photo-taking session.

I never understood these tourist, or if I thought I had the psyche all figured, the anti-thesis deconstructs my every analytical perspective when they can stop directly behind a reversing car just to take pictures.

Parallel parking has never been more stressful because perhaps it’s some sport for them to rush out whenever they see a car reversing and walk behind it. Maybe getting hit by a car is the new Planking on the internet or that they know it’s going to be in the Olympics 30 years from now and so every one of them is practicing it.

Here’s a simple test for you, if you’ve not been thoroughly schooled on this, just to see your aptitude of walking safely.

1. What do you do when you see a reversing car?

a. Walk casually. Behind the car if possible
b. Stop, tweet to all your imaginary followers, warning them of the impending danger and keep at least a 10m distance
c. Ignore it, because apparently it’s the duty for the driver to look out for the pedestrian’s safety

If you picked B, then you belong to a minute fraction of the responsible pedestrian community. You have either been a successful product of the Road Safety Park or you drive a car.

2. What do you do when you cross a road illegally.

a. Run, because getting hit by a car is actually potentially fatal
b. Walk slowly, because so long as you are looking at the on coming car, it will not hit you

For some reason, people tend to think leisurely walking across the road is fine, so long as they are looking at the traffic. What in the world did you get that fucking theory from? I don’t remember it being in the Bible or my traffic police handout.

Unless you are a ruler or a speed camera, you will never be able to accurately judge if you walking speed will get you across on time. If hitting jaywalkers wasn’t a crime, or if men never invented brakes, then jaywalkers would die every minute, or if they smartened up, they’d learn to run.

So here’s a simple motto for the traffic police, school teachers and young parents to educate children on, because if there’s one thing Michael Jackson got right – other than a boy’s age – is that they are our future.

“If you get hit by a car, your survival rate is lower than having AIDS.”

Really, don't stand on the road if you want to live.