Thursday, 30 April 2009

I have another reason to not drive in Saskatchewan

Via Saskboy.

In Regina, for example, a bylaw states bluntly that "No person shall splash a pedestrian."

As a driver, I do try to be conscientious and avoid splashing pedestrians. But sometimes it just can't be avoided. Either you don't see the puddle (oh sorry, I was more focused on the taxi-cab that just cut me off), or traffic is too heavy to swerve or break; or worse, the puddle is much deeper than it appears.

I have cringed more than once when I've inadvertently hit a puddle that's nearly splashed a pedestrian. Fortunately, they've all been misses that I can recall. I don't think I've soaked anyone in the last 20 years. But oh yeah, there have been some close calls.

Its for that reason that when I am pedestrian, I watch for puddles on the road and time my walk to go by them when there's no traffic. I have waited for trucks or other large vehicles to go by first just to stay dry.

Its part of the same problem for pedestrians at crosswalks. The law may state that the pedestrian has right of way (or right of dryness) but its pretty damned hard to guarantee it. And on community streets, there's an awful lot of distractions that a driver has to be aware of.

We're only human, we miss a few things we should have seen every now and then. I find that the pedestrians that never or rarely drive are the most strident about this. (and the reverse is certainly true. The people that drive a block to pickup their mail are incredibly unaware of their surroundings). Those of us that drive and walk are more aware of the limitations of both forms of transportation. For those that hate being splashed, all I can say is. Get behind the wheel of a car, and then try to tell me how easy it is.

PS: Do drivers get to sue the city for negligence in road repair for worsening puddles during rainfalls? It only seems fair.

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