By Cathy Guest
There has been a rise in pedestrian crosswalk accidents here in Nova Scotia, with ensuing talk of pedestrians waving a ‘thank you’ to the car driver who has stopped for them at a designated crosswalk. Why should we wave a thank you? says the angry pedestrian. It is the duty of the driver to stop. Why indeed! We hear that in Montreal, if a pedestrian steps out to cross the street, the driver will veer towards him, just to give him a ‘heads up’ that this is ‘car territory’ – pedestrian beware!
There was talk here in Halifax of eye contact – not always a guarantee, we hear, of compassionate behaviour. But persevere at the crosswalk we must! Already, jay walking tickets are exorbitantly high – perhaps more than a drunk driving fine, minus the loss of the license and impounding of the car – since there isn’t one…
What got me thinking, as I rode my bike leisurely last Sunday on a quiet country road, was about all that waving. If the pedestrian waves her thank you, and the car driver also waves, may not others wave also, just for fun? We humans are great pranksters – what mayhem could ensue if we are all waving and making eye contact, even at people we don’t know, loving our neighbours, saying “Hey!” No one could drive in that madness! We would all have to switch to non-motorized vehicles for safety’s sake.
I confess, I nearly fell off my bicycle from laughing so hard at the thought of all that waving, and drivers getting all confused about who was saying thank you and who was just kidding around. Bicycles rule! Cyclists can wave and drive!