Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Did You Brush Your Teeth?

Boulder has now installed a new crosswalk safety device that, I kid you not, vocally warns pedestrians to look before crossing. I'm pretty sure they hired my mother to record the warning. "Stop! Look both ways! Clean your plate!"

Ok, maybe not the last one.

We have a number of crosswalks where the pedestrian waiting to cross can press a button and lights start flashing, warning drivers that someone is crossing. Except, some people are not smart enough to look to make sure the cars are stopped before stepping out into the street. So now, my mom is going to remind them.

Then there are the folks who abuse these signals by barreling through on their bikes, completely surprising drivers who are looking for pedestrians traveling at walking speed. I guess Darwin had a word for this type of behavior.

Anyway, how about someone designs a new device to actually enforce these crossing areas. Something like, when the pedestrian presses the button, after two seconds a series of spikes comes up out of the roadway to pierce the tires of anybody trying to drive through. Or maybe something with a giant magnet.

Actually, I have an even better idea. When the pedestrian has the right of way, a cell phone disruptor could be turned on that will cause anybody driving through to lose their signal and drop their call. That would get their attention!

Here's a (semi-)serious question about this new device. Suppose a pedestrian presses the button, steps out into the street, and gets run over. Does the fact that the pedestrian was warned to use caution provide an argument that could be used in court that the pedestrian was at fault?

Luckily I don't often have to cross that particular street in that particular location, so I won't be the one to test out my question. Anyone want to volunteer?

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