Thursday, November 24, 2016

Being passed unsafely

Some people should not have driving licenses. A license indicates you have knowledge of the rules of the road, and apply them in the second-by-second navigation of the roadways such that you can get where you are going safely. If you cannot or will not do that, you should have no such license.

Tuesday, 22 Nov 2016, again I did not die at the hands of an idiot motorist, nor did another totally innocent motorist who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was returning home from work, and used the bus to get 90% of the way home. It takes less than four minutes from exiting the bus to standing inside my house. The 0.9-mile trip on Perrymont should be simple, just a short climb then a half-mile downhill. Should. But often isn’t.

There are two blind crests going west off of McKnight, the first at the top of the aforementioned climb, the second a bit later before the big descent. It was at that second one Tuesday night that someone passed me, at speed, at the very top of that crest, and very nearly hit an oncoming car head-on. They were both going 35+, and missed each other by less than 50 feet.

Front video. The incident occurs just after :50, or 20:04:58 on my camera's clock (which was an hour fast).

Rear video. The car at :25 is fine. It's the second one, at :50.

You can see in the rear video that the guy made no attempt to slow down. He just saw me in the lane, changed lanes, passed, and pulled back in. Which would have been fine if there hadn’t been oncoming traffic he could not possibly see.

It's easy enough to figure out what he was thinking. It's a sense of entitlement, a belief that one should and must proceed at least at the speed limit, without ever needing to be delayed for anything. Absent any other traffic, motorized or not, this driver would be going 40 or better, on a road posted 35. I've lived in my house over 25 years. This is simply how people drive, not just here, but everywhere.

But you cannot. If you see an obstruction in the road, be it a cyclist, a garbage can that fell over, a disabled motorist -- whatever -- and cannot see the way clear ahead, you slow down, or stop if necessary, until you can see the way clear. If you will not do this, you should not have a license to drive.

This has nothing to do with a cyclist's right to use the road or where in the lane I happened to be at that moment. This is all on the motorist. The motorist passed me at the very top of a blind hill. Had I been a mere 15 yards farther along, that would have been either a full head-on crash, hood ornament to hood ornament, or an immediate swerve back into his lane, taking out the softer target -- me -- similar to how he might have been trying to avoid a raccoon.

What else could I have done? Even if I had been stopped on the shoulder, he would have moved over the center line at the top of the grade, still colliding head-on but headlight to headlight. So, no, it's not on me to move over or do anything differently. It's for that motorist to lose the sense of entitlement that says, "I shall not be delayed even the slightest."

PA plate ZFY-8649, pickup truck, could not tell make, model or year.

1 comment:

  1. Motorists who do not follow the rules of the road should not drive, should not have licenses to drive. One of those rules is, do not pass on a blind grade.