I’ve been busy revising my fiction manuscript and haven’t had much time for disability blogging. Just a few days again, I was injured in a cross walk when a Forest Vehicle turned right and nearly hit me. Afterward, I posted a report on my main writing blog, Kaye Munroe Writes, Too.
Here’s a link to that blog: Killed in Crosswalk.
I’m reblogging this in hopes of raising awareness of the dangers of crosswalks due to negligent drivers too impatient to yield the right of way to pedestrians. All those crossing are in danger, but seniors and children are the two most likely groups to suffer death or injury. Often, survivors are left seriously injured, with life-long head and spinal cord injuries.
I was lucky. I survived with my precious wheelchair intact, and though the damage doesn’t seem permanent, I’m suffering a great deal of pain that will be my companion for some time to come. Roughly 5000 people die in crosswalks every year, usually hit by impatient motorists turning in the intersection. About 78,000 people are injured each year.
A few changes to the law might help save lives. Instead of these vague laws requiring motorist to yield, we need laws nationwide like the one Oregon put in place, which requires drivers to wait until pedestrians have passed the lane and gone six feet further before executing a turn. Oregon also requires motorists to wait until blind individuals have completely crossed the street and gained the sidewalk before proceeding into a turn. I believe mobility impaired individuals—those with canes, crutches, walkers and wheelchairs—be included in this section of the law, as well as children.
Drivers, be a little more careful, and a lot more patient. Be certain you look carefully while traveling through an intersection. Put down the cell phone, the hair brush, the meal you just bought at the drive through, and pay attention to pedestrians who may be in the crosswalks. And if someone is crossing, turn behind them instead of cutting them off to beat them to the lane they’re approaching. Whatever your destination is, I guarantee it’s not more important than the life of another person—even if they’re older or disabled, they have a right to cross the street without fear of injury.
No one should face death or injury in a crosswalk. If drivers would learn to have a little more respect for pedestrians, our city crosswalks would be the safe crossing our society intended them to be.