While walking through a crosswalk recently, my pace was halted by a girl speeding around the corner while talking on her cell phone. She saw me at the very last possible second and slammed on her brakes. Our eyes met for a brief second, and then she honked. At me!! What did I do?
My way to campus every day is by foot or on a bike, and she had the audacity to honk at me? I was on a crosswalk! If anything, she should have been thankful that I was making one more parking spot available.
It’s my first semester at CSUN and while I’m sure everybody in the world has had the “they-almost-hit me!” experience, I’ve had it a couple too many times here.
Each time after it happened, I kept thinking to myself, “Damn, I should write an article about this!” So here it is – my tiny little favor to ask of you to slow down a bit.
I know we are all in a hurry. We juggle school with work, sleep, friends and fun, and we definitely have a tendency to run late.
I can guarantee you, though, that if you hit a pedestrian you will no longer be in a hurry to get to where you are going, because it will either be a courthouse, police station or, even worse, a morgue.
We’re young and life moves fast, but please remember that people walking or biking don’t have air bags, seat belts or anti-lock brakes to protect them.
Just a few months ago, although this was not at the university, CSUN student Corinne McClane was killed in a hit and run accident. Last year, a Cal Poly Pomona student was killed on campus by a speeding car.
I didn’t know either of these people personally, but I do know that they were college students just like us, minding their own business when their lives were tragically taken away.
Did anyone else bother to let these deaths due to reckless driving be more than just a momentary flash of sadness before heading back to the streets and doing the whole “speeding while on the cell phone” routine?
I am angry because we lost two valuable, educated citizens of our society for stupid and preventable reasons, and we lose more people in the same way every day. You should be angry, too.
It happens more often than you think, and it’s a scary thought that it could happen to you. How would you feel after hearing the thud of a body slam into your windshield? That sick, panicked feeling could stay with you for the rest of your life.
Saving a minute or two is not worth the chance of seriously hurting or even killing an innocent bystander.
If you’re reading this article and thinking that I need to loosen up, I want you to walk to school for one week. You may not see it every day, but I bet you that at least once, a speeding car will get a little too close to you while crossing the street or parking lot.
The only way we can effectively make our campus safer for pedestrians and bikers is if we all slow down. Los Angeles is notorious for rude, aggressive drivers, but isn’t it nice to disprove stereotypes?
Save your speeding for the 405. When you’re on campus or anywhere with lots of foot traffic, drive safely. It wouldn’t hurt if you put down that cell phone, either.
Alyssa Lofrgen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.