Please explain to me how residents are allowed to pass the driver’s education test and be given a driver’s license without knowing and following the simple and often common sense laws that are required knowledge?
Having been a Santa Monica resident for many, many years, it seems as if we are all just accustomed to drivers blatantly and often dangerously disregarding the laws designed to protect themselves and others.
I wish these law-breakers could be blamed merely on tourists, but such is not the case. Santa Monica has numerous intersections that are dangerous, making the safety laws essential for survival.
One such intersection and cause for this letter is at the crossroad of San Vicente and Ocean Blvds. Stop signs are posted at all intersections, requiring cars to not only come to a complete stop, but also be fully cognizant of not only other drivers, but bikers and pedestrians utilizing the cross-walks.
The California law states that drivers are to yield to pedestrians in cross-walks. Yield and wait until that pedestrian is no longer utilizing the cross-walk before proceeding.
Nowhere does the law state that a driver can swerve around a pedestrian, intimidate a pedestrian nor honk at a pedestrian if the driver deems the pedestrian is walking too slowly. “Pedestrians have the right-of-way in marked or unmarked crosswalks.”
Those laws being understood, flash back to yesterday, the 19th of September, 2012, 6:50pm, a beautiful evening for a first time mother of a newborn to finally leave the confines of her home for a slow stroll on the promenade.
She has taken the painstaking time to strap her newborn to her chest, covering the baby’s head to avoid any undue natural stresses, i.e. sun, wind or dust, ensuring the utmost safety of her precious cargo.
She strolls on the promenade, enjoying the slight ocean breeze, but soon realizes the weight of the baby is too much for her thrice-operated on back and makes the decision to slowly, safely make her way home.
She gets to the intersection of San Vicente and Ocean Blvds, looks both ways, making eye contact with the CA-plated, Silver Lexus that has stopped on Ocean to let her and her baby utilize the cross-walk onto San Vicente.
Four steps into the cross-walk, the older, grey-haired driver of the newer model Lexus must make the ill-timed decision that this tired, slightly pained new mother is moving too slowly for him and his older female passenger, and lays on his horn, motioning for this new mother to “hurry up.”
The new mother is startled and takes several steps backwards, seemingly infuriating this driver even more, as he attempts to swerve around her, pushing his bumper into the leg of this frightened pedestrian.
He comes to a stop, assuming realizing his fault in endangering not only this new mother, but also the life of her tiny newborn.
The new mother, regaining her senses, but in tears, goes to the window of the passenger, asking why they would choose to endanger lives so blatantly.
The passenger inside the Lexus, an older woman with a seemingly red birthmark on her right cheek, sneers at this new mother, telling her “you are moving too slowly” and “to get out of their way.”
The already angry older driver then speeds past this crying, frightened mother, down the hill on Ocean towards the Palisades.
The new mother safely makes it to the curb, looking after this car that has sped away as other drivers stop to offer aid and ask if she is alright.
She does not have the opportunity to get the license of this law-breaker who has attempted vehicular manslaughter. Their time was more important than the safety and lives of others.
A hopeful lesson in driver safety, and wishful accountability for a reckless, heartless driver.