Driving Over Pedestrians

(C)2020 Dart Humeston

So many differences between Florida and Idaho. Actually, every part of the country has it’s own way of doing things, it’s own culture. But since I am a native born Floridian living in Boise, I can only comment on the differences between these two cultures.

Today, I am discussing driving over pedestrians. Apparently in the greater Boise area, this is actually frowned upon. My first experience with this was at a local Albertsons supermarket. I parked my normal size vehicle between two pick-up trucks each the size of small buildings. The sun and sky was blackened by their shadows but using my smartphone flashlight I eventually found my way out from them and into the parking lot. I stumbled toward the front of the store, stopping just before the roadway that separates the parking lot from the storefront. Suddenly, brakes squealed and every moving car within the zip code came to a screeching halt. I stood frozen in my shoes, wondering what the hell was going on. Eventually I figured out they were all waiting for me to walk across the crosswalk to the store. What the heck? I thought this was a trap at first. This odd behavior continued to happen in every parking lot or crosswalk I encountered over the weeks. In fact, it continues to happen today!

Why did this catch me off guard and confuse me? Well, this is just not the way things work in South Florida. Crossing from the parking lot to the storefront there is a true challenge. Not for the faint of heart, for sure. Drivers there will be offended that you stepped out into the crosswalk, and often swerve out of their way in an attempt to run your ass over. And the rest of you too.And if you think that is dangerous, wait until you try to cross a road! In Florida, cars always have the right away in any situation. It is called the “Stand Your Car Law”.

Seriously. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association in the first 6 months of 2017 there were 8 traffic pedestrian fatalities in the entire state of Idaho. The first six months of 2017 in Florida? 303 pedestrians run over and killed.

But if you think that is dangerous, wait until you hear about bus benches! In Florida, drivers earn triple points for driving over pedestrians sitting on bus benches. This is almost a weekly occurrence just in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area! Don’t believe me? Google “car hits Florida bus bench”.

In Florida, it is always best to transverse a pedestrian crosswalk in your car. Don’t chance it on foot.