Posted by: raesalley | November 12, 2006

Failure to Yield

(This is way too early to be up on a Sunday morning)

To Whom it May Concern:

This is in reference to the ticket which will likely be put it my mailbox at some point in the not too distant future. I apparently irritated one of your marvelous law enforcement agents this morning, who had already (apparently) had someone piss in his Cheerios that day and felt like sharing the good mood.

Let me set the stage for you, it’s Veterans Day weekend, which means that my mother is down on a visit. She does this when it’s our off year for Thanksgiving. Having one’s family in is generally a stressful thing…so while I was sad to see them go, it is a nice moment of relief to drive out of the airport parking lot. Like many folks dropping people off this wet and dreary Sunday morning, I hugged my parents good-bye near their airline’s entrance and got back in my car proceeding very carefully through the slippery wet, negotiating other cars weaving in and out and the odd traveler or two running anywhere from between cars to the legal pedestrian crosswalks where cars yield to them.

Like many people who have both been the pedestrian and the car, I watch for these pedestrians on their crosswalks. I don’t want to be completely rude to them like many have been to me, but I also don’t think I should yield for the sake of yielding to an individual all the way near the terminal while I’m on the far left hand side.

The particular incident which is likely to result in such unpleasant mail involved the last of these such crosswalks for the departing terminals. This is the one where the lanes of traffic have just narrowed to one and there are still cones blocking off lord-knows-what on the right. All I know is I didn’t see any cars coming up next to me over there. I did notice, however, the transport shuttle on my left with people loading stuff and themselves on to it as I got closer so I looked to see if there were any more people about to come rushing over as I approached and still had time to brake. There was just the lone officer who didn’t appear to be moving until I had passed the point where I could safely brake and yield in case he decided (for reasons unknown to me but possible) to run across the crosswalk.

I didn’t stop. I didn’t even stop when he increased his speed and started pointing at the ground. I didn’t see the need. Why? because I was actually over the crosswalk and on my merry way before he got to where my car crossed over the pedestrian crosswalk. He might have had a foot on this walkway before I got close, but he wasn’t near the end of the coned off section. He might have wanted to jog across – but why would he want to do that? he was in a full slicker and probably had on slippery shoes. How did I NOT see this guy in head-to-toe florescent yellow? because he wasn’t close enough to matter and I was more concerned about the people on the left than on the right.

Yes, your Honor. I didn’t see him because he wasn’t close enough for me to be concerned over. It was wet, it was dimly lit because of the rain and the fact that it was eight o’clock in the morning on a Sunday. I didn’t want to slam on my brakes and lose control of my car for a man – even though he carried a badge – that might not even be close enough to the active part of the road for me to care. Like many drivers, the crosswalk is an occasion to yield if there is actually someone to yield to. He just wasn’t close enough to yield.

Now if you don’t mind, since I have made it home in my non-coffee’d, not even dressed state after saying good-bye to my parents, I think I’m going to have the first non-stressed nap I can manage in about a week.



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