By Travis Morgan
Halloween. Besides offering us ghosts, goblins, witches and jack-o-lanterns, this lovely pagan holiday gives us a wonderful opportunity to consider “Provo”s bravest.” I”m talking about those who throw caution to the wind, laugh in the face of danger and act without consideration for personal well-being: Provo”s pedestrians.
Our little trick-or-treaters may wander around the pitch-black streets in pitch-black costumes, but at least they are taught to look both ways, wait until there are no cars, then run frantically across the street and hop onto the sidewalk at the other side.
Perhaps their college-aged counterparts could catch a clue, too.
Provo has some of the most fearless street-crossers I have ever come across. Armed with nothing but the cell phone of faith, these plucky pedestrians stroll calmly into oncoming traffic, apparently not noticing the hurdling hunks of steel (or plastic, if it”s a Saturn) coming at them at multiple miles per hour. They bravely trust the white painted lines of a mid-block crosswalk to protect them from imminent impact.
Time out! We all know what comes next: screeching tires, raised voices and occasionally some informal sign language.
Now, I recognize pedestrians are not the only ones at fault here.
For example, my friend “Adam,” who wishes to remain onymous, was recently involved in such an incident. Adam was enjoying a pleasant bicycle ride through Provo when disaster struck, literally. Just as a car pulled up next to him, the driver reached down to answer her cell phone and veered unexpectedly into Adam”s lane. The car slammed into his bike, throwing him to the ground and causing undue discomfort to his body.
No wonder Salt Lake has been ranked one of the most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians. As a result, the city has increased fines for hitting pedestrians to $1,850.
Perhaps we should also just give everyone a little old fashioned trick-or-treating training. Here are a few of Trav”s tricks for traversing tricky traffic traps:
1. No Death. It”s a simple policy, just value your life over the other side of the street.
2. Safety First. If you don”t understand, see rule #1.
3. Left-right-left. First, look both ways. Then, if cars are speeding toward you at high speeds, do not walk out in front of them, even if you are holding a cell phone.
4. Pitch-black clothes + pitch-black streets = pitch-black smack down. Please remember that although you may be able to see the oncoming car, that doesn”t mean it can see you.
Do what you will with these guidelines. But if you members of “Provo”s Bravest” wish to continue throwing your caution to the wind, please throw it in front of someone else”s car. Thanks.