Likewise, your fellow Pedestrian doesn’t give two@#$% about you, either. This comes from a sense of invulnerability.
Y’see, Los Angeles provides the right of way for Pedestrians. Same as in most places in the world. The only difference is in L.A. things are a little more absolute.
The moment a Pedestrians foot touches the crosswalk, you’re supposed to stop. You shouldn’t cross in front of them (even if they’re a hundred feet away). You shouldn’t cross in behind them (even if they’re a hundred feet away). If a Pedestrian decides to jaywalk (an illegal act) through heavy traffic in the middle of Rush Hour, the Traffic is supposed to brake to an immediate halt for the Jaywalker.
You’d think that this would make L.A. a traffic paradise, but you’d be wrong.
Because of this, Angelenos have gained an inordinate sense of safety when crossing the street, naturally assuming that everyone will just stop for them when the occasion arises, and the occasion rises quite a bit.
Like the Drivers, Pedestrians are capable of doing anything at any time for any reason.
Yes, Pedestrians abuse this privilege and abuse it mightily. Pedestrians will be walking on the sidewalk one second, see something they like across the street, and suddenly decided to dart across like an errant four-year old. The Cars nearly will of course stop (suddenly) to keep these idiots from getting killed, but more often than not the person behind that car doesn’t (or can’t) see what’s going on, and well…boom.
…and people wonder why there are so many accidents in Los Angeles.
The Cars will get ticketed for causing a wreck, and the person who jaywalked…walks away like nothing happened.
Meanwhile, newer Californians are starting to push this rule. They’re not waiting a half-hour for Grandma to inch her way across the street. They’re going in front of her, or just after she passes, going behind her. It’s said you can tell a new Californian from the Old by how long they wait for the Pedestrians to pass, or if they wait at all.
Listen, I’m not saying we should turn into Mad Max and run Pedestrians over like its Death Race 3000. What I am saying is that there’s a multitude of reasons why Driving in Los Angeles will age you, and a lot of them are self-inflicted…like this rule.
Needless to say, respect the rule, if for not other reason, L.A. Cops will ticket you to for not providing adequate space for these Jaywalkers. You’ve been warned.
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