Wrong of Way

There are few things I encounter on a daily basis that make less sense to me than the fact that cars have to yield to pedestrians. The least efficient parts of driving are starting and stopping; times when the most fuel is consumed and emissions are at their highest. This is what happens every time a car has to yield to a pedestrian. And the effect ripples through every other car in the line, compounding the already harmful repercussions.

As it turns out, people are much easier to power. Not only that, but they're more resilient when it comes to changes in ambulation (jury duty word). Whether a person can walk for 10 minutes staight or has to stop every 50 feet, it's unlikely that their diet will need to be augmented. Nor would their "emissions" would be effected. Compounding doesn't apply to people either. Having one person or ten people waiting to cross a street will have a negligible impact on food intake. On the other hand, ten cars idling while some idiot is doing a 47 minute mile across the street will have an appreciable effect on fuel consumption compared to one.

The only other motivation for this ludicrous law that I'll even consider is the safety of pedestrians. I think this logic fails as well, because it only serves to provide a false sense of security. Sure, if the law is that cars have to yield to pedestrians, most people will abide by it. But obviously there is a faction of the population who'll treat it like one of those yellow speed limit signs; a nice thought, but not really practical. And don't forget the people who just suck at driving (they shouldn't be on the road to begin with, but that's another post). If a pedestrian operates like they always have the right of way, who do you think is going to pay the price when a driver disagrees or doesn't notice? The burden of safety should be on drivers, but realistically, they're not the ones in immediate danger.

Everything I've said aside, the bottom line is this: if you're already walking, you must not have been in much of a rush to begin with. So what's a couple minutes here and there waiting for a break in traffic? Mother nature will thank you.


  1. king of comfort; mr continental; jew gold; nelsonJune 15, 2009 at 8:43 PM

    i think that you are forgetting one key demographic: fatties. i bet you that every time an obese person starts or stops, they probably fart; increased emissions of a foul nature. also, the principle of the conservation of momentum dictates that the heavier an object is, the more energy it will take for that object to stop/start, when compared to a constant rate of motion (the principle of the conservation of momentum doesn't actually say this, but just pretend that it does... get over it). however, you could make the logical argument that the lightest car still weighs more than the fattest walking person. therefore, i think it would be wise to redefine this traffic law: cars must yield to pedestrians; given that the pedestrian weighs less than 400 lbs. if the pedestrian weighs 400+ lbs, then is it up to the fatty if s/he is going to stop or continue walking into oncomming traffic. best case scenario: a few less fatties in the america.


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