After cycling, I was heading home and within sight of my place, coasting along on the sidewalk. There is an office complex of two buildings and the exit from its carpark is right next to a small tree or a shrub that may partially obscure a driver’s view of the sidewalk, should the driver look to the right before proceeding out into the street, which is typically the only option as there are three lanes of traffic moving in each direction.
A car had pulled up to the edge of the sidewalk and the driver was looking left at the oncoming traffic, I noticed that he never looked to the right and was holding a cell phone to his ear and his lips were moving, so I got off my bike and walked it along the sidewalk.
I waited for him to look right but that did not happen, so I thought I had better get his attention by getting into his line of sight because I had visions of him hitting the accelerator and running me over.
And that is exactly what happened, the car rolled forward so I started tapping on the hood of the car and calling out to him, but that didn’t work and since I had was not yet in his line of sight, I pounded on the hood of the car and yelled louder. Finally the car stopped rolling forward into me. After I had safely advanced out of the line of travel of the car, I turned around to fire some instructions at this driver:
“What are you doing? Hang up the f**’n phone! Get off the phone! Pay attention! Look both ways!” while using the two fingers pointing at my eyes and his then pointing the two fingers left and right.
I was livid, so frightened, so angry. I had a quick thought about going right through his driver’s window to beat the living daylights out of him. The adrenalin was pumping so I was sure that my hand would make it through but cycling shoes with their hard bottom side would have worked also. His car window would not protect him. But then my commitments to my national team and to myself about next week’s race helped me move away from this dangerous driver.
If I was a totally free agent in the universe, it is not guaranteed that the ending would have the same as today’s.
It should not be the pedestrian’s responsibility to get the driver’s attention when the driver wants to drive across a sidewalk to get into traffic. A driver can’t be expected to watch 6 lanes of traffic (ok, 3) and watch left and right along the sidewalk all at the same time. But since this driver couldn’t proceed into traffic, there was lots of time for a quick glance to his right. And since he sat there for so long, he needed to check and recheck in all directions to see that it was safe to proceed. The area is busy so the situation changes constantly. This dude was asleep at the wheel.
And then there was the distraction of the phone. Using a hand-held phone while driving has the effect of making a driver impaired! 6 years ago