Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Notes from a concerned driver and pedestrian

Please learn to drive responsibly, safely and respectfully

I have been unemployed for a few months which has allowed me time to be walking and driving more in our beautiful city.

I have found it to be dangerous to both walk and drive. People seem to be in a rush driving as they run stop signs, roll past crosswalks while people are still walking across them, turn into traffic without warning, have their left turn signal on and turn right across the other lane. They ignore speed limits in town and in school zones, use of cell phones is prominent while people are driving or walking across streets, driving in parking lots and stopped at lights. People seem to believe it is OK to complete at 360-degree turn around in the middle of the street, They open vehicle doors without checking for oncoming traffic, people quite often walk across the street in a crosswalk without checking for on coming traffic and/or without the green light, riding of bicycles without due care and attention and not giving people a chance to complete walking across crosswalks before turning into them, rolling forward, or continuing straight.

Do we really need those extra 10 or 15 seconds at the end of our journey? Do we really intend to continue to put people at risk with our poor driving and walking habits? It is ridiculously dangerous to walk and/or drive around in our city. I saw someone almost hit the other day while walking across a crosswalk, in which they had a green light. The person was one-third across the street and the driver turning into that lane was in such a rush to beat the oncoming traffic that they turned and came within a foot of hitting this man. The driver didn’t even acknowledge seeing the pedestrian. Come on!

I have seen a driver swerve their vehicle into another lane to miss someone who opened their vehicle door, the other lane had another vehicle in it which almost caused an accident. I have seen elderly people walking across the street with a vehicle stopped to allow them to cross, then when the pedestrian is part way across the vehicle starts to creep ahead. This could make someone nervous or anxious thus falling where the driver would not see them. How would you feel if you ran over that person, a neighbour, a friend, your father?

I heard yesterday that someone was walking across the street in a cross walk with a green light. A vehicle turned right which was right in front of the pedestrian, and another vehicle turned right which was right behind the pedestrian. This pedestrian was caught in between two vehicles. How scary is that?

We have a beautiful city, wonderful people living in it, fantastic visitors. Please learn to drive responsibly, safely and respectfully. I would like to live here a few more years. I would like my wife to be safe, my neighbours to be safe, my friends to be safe and I would like you to be safe.

The stop sign means stop. The crosswalk which is occupied means stop. The red light means stop, the amber light means slow down and prepare to stop — it does not mean speed up so you do not have to stop. School zones and park zones are to be respected, after all it is our future which is around these zones.


Gordon Thompson