I live in the Capital Hill section of northeast Washington DC. The area is a pretty diverse mix for the most part, and we have tons of people from Maryland who come through here on their way to other parts of the city.
All kinds of people. White people. Black people. Latino people. Asian people. All kinds of people. All of them angry. All them armed. All of them dangerous. They drive through our 25 MPH streets doing 35 or 40 MPH, often much faster than that if there is a green light up ahead that might turn red and keep them stopped for 45 seconds.
We had a little girl get killed by one of these maniacs who didn’t stop and was never caught.
I have nearly been hit more than a dozen times. I have gotten into shouting matches with assholes who clearly don’t understand the relationship between cars and pedestrians. They have actually cussed me out for almost hitting me, my wife and my dogs. The guy cussed me out in a company van. On a Monday morning around seven. After running a stop sign and barely noticing us crossing the street in time to stop in the middle of the intersection.
Am I the only one who thinks that this country is more than a little crazy these days?
I have noticed this same anger in large metro areas around the country, though not in the smaller towns. One takes their life in their hands when crossing a street in a big city, at least the ones I have been too recently. I wonder if the trend is similar all over the country? Are we all just a bunch of angry moneys driving our pathetic vehicles powered by a steadily dwindling resource that most of us won’t be able to afford some day in the near future? Is that why we are pissed or is it something deeper? Is it a failure of leadership?
I am pretty sure that if running a stop sign was punishable by a $500 dollar ticket for a first offense that people would become more respectful of our traffic rules. If speeding was punishable in a similar fashion and then people actually got pulled over, the result would be the same. No one is going to continue breaking rules when the punishment fits the crime. These violations are dangerous to us all and need to be addressed as such. My last parking ticket was twice as much as a speeding ticket for going 11 miles over the posted speed limit. This is asinine from public policy perspective. Which is more dangerous – Speeding or Parking?
I have really taken an effort to slow down and be more considerate of the posted speed limit and traffic laws, but what I don’t understand is why law enforcement won’t do anything about this. It is a classic “broken-window” problem. Not being able to trust that the posted rules will be followed leads to a feeling of lawlessness. Add cops to the streets who look like a bunch of special forces troops and it contributes to a sense of fear. Let stupid people get away with stupid shit and pretty soon the crimes they are committing are no longer so stupid.
Is it neglect or deliberate?
Either way, local law enforcement has a lot to answer for with regards to keeping our streets safe, let alone addressing other crimes. Forget protecting us from non-existent terrorists. My chances of getting killed crossing the street are much higher than my chances of dying in a terrorist attack.
Am I the only one that thinks the people who are running things don’t want society to function properly else they would make it function properly?