Thursday, June 5, 2008
Red light, green light
I just drove down Broad Street in Hartford on the way back from a video shoot. The police seem to be conducting some sort of traffic surveillance - standing in the roadway, looking closely at each vehicle, marker plate, driver and occupant. Likely searching for the hit and run culprit featured in the morning news. Or the crash of a stolen van early this morning.
The video of the hit and run, which is likely to earn Hartford a certain web notoriety, shows two cars illegally passing, and in the process, striking a pedestrian, who other pedestrians proceed to ignore for a good couple of minutes.
I work in the South end of Hartford, and I have to say, this is the accident that was waiting to happen. The social contract, in which we all agree to stop at four way intersections, is badly frayed here. Every day, and I mean every day, I see harrowing traffic infractions - stop signs ignored, vehicles cutting through convenience store lots to avoid stopping at intersections, passing a vehicle stopped at the light on a left to make a right hand turn, speeding unlicensed and unregistered motorcycles of all sizes, speeding all-terrain vehicles, stunt riding on busy streets and through intersections by motorcyclists, serious jaywalking with parents dragging toddlers into traffic with the expectation that cars will magically stop, middle of the street conversations. I'm more surprised that a serious life-threatening accident did not come earlier.
As someone who has repeatedly complained to the Police when I've witnessed the traffic hijinx, I can say that for whatever reason, they do not seem very interested in pursuing these scofflaws.
So, who's at fault? Drivers who recklessly disregard their own safety and the safety of others. Or police who can't be bothered to crack down on small problems which inevitably lead to larger ones?
My guess is a bit of both.