This essay was originally published on PRP.FM as a Carp O'Diem, and expressed my worry about the mix on our roadways of people encased in a car and people not so protected by a big metal shell.
"So I was working out at the gym one morning and on TV I see a story
about when people are most likely to run red lights. Apparently you’re
most likely to run a red light between one to five on a Friday. Well,
Which brings me to a pet peeve, which is, we get so focused on
our next urgent appointment that we don’t see the human beings who get
in our way.
One of my favorite movies of all time is Starman, mostly
because I love it when Jeff Bridges, the alien who is learning how to
drive, says to Karen Allen, “I watched you very carefully. Red light,
stop. Green light, go. Yellow light, go very fast.” Luckily, he didn’t
know my first husband, who believed that if you’d seen a green light at
any time while you were approaching the intersection, well! Drive on
And this sounds funny, but actually it’s not, because sometimes
there’s someone already in the intersection. Sometimes it’s a pedestrian
or a bicyclist who doesn’t have a big metal shell around them. Maybe
they’re talking on their cell phone, or taking their time. They might
even be breaking a traffic rule. And you might be in a rush yourself or
have the sun in your eyes, and then someone gets hurt. And it’s probably
So please. Give yourself a little bit more time today so that you notice the
mother with the stroller who is crossing the street in front of your
Green light, go. Red light, stop. It was true in kindergarten and it still is."