Stop driving stupid!!!

I’m appalled by the recent news of the 4 year old boy hit in the crosswalk on one of our Santa Rosa streets yesterday afternoon. He was crossing the street with his family when a driver sped around the waiting car and hit the little boy full force, causing him to fly through the air.  (Update:  this young boy died from his injuries at the hospital, leaving behind a twin sister, along with the rest of his family) Reading the comments, the conversation has turned to target those who are unlicensed and uninsured. But let me tell you, this problem of being unable to wait exists in all kinds of drivers, not just the ones being, let me just say it, racially targeted.

This is not a race problem, this is an IDIOT DRIVER problem.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had cars speed around me when I’ve stopped to let pedestrians cross the street. Several times, the fear on my face and my hand on the horn have stopped those crossing in front of me from being hit by some idiot who doesn’t understand that someone might be stopped at the crosswalk for a reason.

But it doesn’t just stop at crosswalks.

Towards the end of the school year last spring, I was floored when a father zigzagged around other cars IN THE SCHOOL ZONE on the way to dropping off his kid. Judging by the time, he was just as late as I was in getting his kid to school. But rather than just letting his kid face the consequences of being late with a tardy and possible detention, he was risking the lives of all those around him just to get his kid to the curb 2 minutes earlier. A tardy is not the worst thing in the world. In fact, it might motivate your child to get ready in a timelier fashion next time.  Oh, and by the way?  My kid got to school at exactly the same time as this kid with the maniac father.

And then there are those who are still on their phones. WHY? I mean, seriously, why???  If you think you can drive with a phone in your hand, you’re wrong.  I can point out exactly who is on their phone when on the road just by the way they are driving slowly or all over the road.  And if I can tell, so can a cop.  But more than that, after all the press regarding kids who have been hit by those texting or talking on their phones – why are there still people on the road who continue to use their phones while their car is in motion? Ever since little Calli was hit and killed crossing the street with her mother last year by a teenager using her phone, I have made it a strict policy that my phone stays away from me while I’m driving. If it’s in my purse, I have no idea that someone is calling or texting me. After all, the majority of the things that someone might want to reach me for can wait the 5 or 10 minutes it takes me to get to my destination.

Your phone can wait too.

Why am I so jaded about driving in this blog when this isn’t even the Road Warrior Blog? Because this is a parenting blog, I’m a mother, and THERE ARE CHILDREN on the very streets that all these stupid drivers are driving on. School is back in, which means the possibility of a child getting hit by a car goes up significantly.

In case anyone needs a briefing on how to drive on the road, especially during the school year, let me give you a crash course:

1. Scan the road at all times. Don’t just look straight ahead, but weave your eyes across the road and on the sidewalks to anticipate anyone or anything darting across your path. If you are about to drive through a crosswalk, be especially sure to check both sides for someone who might want to cross.

2. If someone has stopped in the middle of the road, slow down and check out the reason they have stopped. DO NOT PASS THEM UNTIL YOU ARE SURE IT IS SAFE.

3. Yellow means RED. Trying to beat the light might mean running though a biker, walker, or someone else’s car.

4. Your phone call/text/email can wait.  Put the phone away.

5. Driving recklessly or fast on city streets will not only fail in making you any more on time, it could kill someone. Is avoiding a tardy really worth taking a life?

6. School zone during school hours means 25 MPH. Period.

7. Your car is not just a vehicle, it is a piece of heavy machinery that can cause serious damage when used improperly.  Drive responsibly.

School is now in session. Please protect our kids by driving safely and smartly.

Stop driving stupid.

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17 thoughts on “Stop driving stupid!!!”

  1. I have no words. She said it all above. So sad. Please slow down, people. There’s nothing so important that it could be worth the life of a child, or even the short-circuited, promising life of a young twenty-something who will now face certain incarceration.

  2. Thank you!

    I’ve been honked at stopping for pedestrians. I’ve had cars fly past while I was stopped at a marked, signed crosswalk in a traveling (not turning) lane.
    I see people on the curb or standing in the gutter at a mid-block crosswalk looking back and forth for an opening to cross. Often they’re afraid to cross even when cars stop for them because there are still open lanes cars can fly by in.

    West College by GnG and particularly bad; I don’t understand why there still isn’t a lighted signal there after the number of pedestrian hits which have occurred on the stretch.

    Part of the problem is drivers not looking for why other cars or stopped; but a part might be drivers which take off as soon as their lane is clear. Drivers need to wait until the pedestrian is safe; not only until they have cleared the lane.

    It bothers me that there was just a question about crosswalks on the roadwarrior blog and some responders didn’t know the law!

  3. Thanks for posting this. I haven’t check out the news part of the website, but I’m not surprised that the conversation has become mired in prejudice (under the guise of “legal status”). One only has to look at the tragedy in RP to know it’s not simply about being licensed.

    Everyday I see idiot drivers, and am just really surprised that more people don’t die on our roads. Just last week I saw some guy in a BMW run a red light on Brookwood near 4th, make two illegal u-turns, all while yakking on his cell. It is common to see 3-4 cars go through an intersection after the light has turned red. I and my dogs were almost hit by not one but two cars that ran a red light on Farmer’s Lane. During the fair, I exited Hwy 12 onto Maple Ave. The light by the 7-11 was green, I slowed down and was about to go through when the woman in the right lane made an illegal left turn in front of me-I missed her by a few feet. My dog and I were still shaking 5 minutes later.

    I’m sure that the posts under the story talk about illegal and what don’t people understand. Well, I for one am in total agreement. However, we Americans no longer seem to understand what illegal means and are not willing to follow our own laws which are designed to keep people safe. It’s all about “me and my needs,” just like your story about the dad at the school illustrate. We no longer seem to care about the group, which does not bode well for our country.

  4. Part of the problem is letting your kids run into the crosswalk first. Parents: Please teach your kids how to cross safely.
    Stop, Look, Listen. Don’t let your kids run into the crosswalk, even if it looks clear. Have them in hand and walk together. Be safe.

  5. Yes, the crosswalks are a huge problem as is the cell-phoned driving. I can’t help but think that part of the problem with cars flying through crosswalks when an adjacent car is stopped at it has something to do with the all-to-common lack of turn signals.

    I’ve seen it before on my end. I see a car stopped in front of a crosswalk and i slow and prepare to stop for a potential pedestrian but then it turns out that the other stopped car was simply waiting to make a left turn and there was no crosser at all.

    These situations tend to give people the impression later that a stopped car at a cross walk is not waiting on a pedestrian. Without the constant use of turn signals, I have no idea at all what other cars are doing. Its not going to stop a$$holes, but the lack of turn signals is, for me, one of the most dangerous aspects of driving around here.

  6. Horrible story but the problem here is the system. Here is an illegal that does not know the rules of the road and refuses to learn the rules of the road. Hes been arrested 3 times with driving without a license.Obviously the system is way broken.

    The other problem here is that pedestrians do not look both ways before crossing the road, the dont pay attention in the crosswalk. The parent of this child is to just as much to blame as anyone else. There is no sense of danger and survival today. It reminds me of the people that went over the waterfall in Yosemite.

    Its not the intersection being dangerous, its not that there is no lights,-we should not have to idiot proof everything. People just need to use common sense

  7. Moral of the story- people are not very good drivers and dont know the rules and accidents happend. As a pedestrian ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS

  8. It’s also frustrating to watch pedestrians crossed illegally as well. My 4 year old son and I witnessed a mom and her young child cross through stopped traffic at Summerfield and Montgomery. The crosswalk was 10 feet away. My son yelled, “You can’t do that!” Too bad the windows in my car were rolled up.

  9. I worked in the ER at SF General about 25 years ago and guess who were the most common accident victims…..people being hit in the cross walks!! I was very surprised by this statistic. The vehicles are metal, you are flesh, clearly the winner is going to be the metal. My advice is to stand back from the curb at the crossing even with crossing lights (as people can get hit by vehicles coming up on the curb) make sure people see you when you are in the cross walk (try to make eye contact), keep your children close and pay attention at all times in the cross walk, it’s not the safe zone that it should be or that we all perceive it to be. I feel so bad for the family of this child.

  10. I agree, it is NOT a race issue. We do not know yet (as far as I know) that this young person was an illegal or not.

    If he is illegal, it maybe that he does not know the rules of the road. BUT then again, there are plenty of drivers who are legal and they are just a stupid.

    Believe me, working on an ambulance for years, race has nothing to do with it. There are stupid people in any and all race’s.

    As a PP said, it is a STUPID DRIVER ISSUE. AND, it is people being in too damn much of a hurry to get somewhere….. WHY!

    IF your in a hurry to get somewhere… then leave sooner and give youself plenty of time.

    We ALL must SHARE the road. Slow down, look and live.

  11. My parents taught me to drive. My mother stopped me from going around a car stopped at a crosswalk. Thank God. There was a pedestrian. This is probably something that should be told to people learning to drive BEFORE they get behind the wheel. Re. bad driver profiles–the worst drivers seem to me to be in BMWs.

  12. Oh my, how amusing. Are you so lost in the narrative you don’t see what’s happening around you? Oh it’s racial all right and it’s just the beginning. Delude yourselves if you must, but understand you do so at your own peril.

  13. I was on the scene of the accident. To the person who said the mother is at fault as well, are you kidding me??? She has three children and two hands and is crossing through a crosswalk with a stopped car. Secondly, the driver did not have a license and should not have been driving…don’t turn this into “illegals”. I just had a white teenage skid around me across a double yellow today. All drivers can be idiots, regardless whether they are brown, white, or purple! I think we need to hit this from all ends: impound all cars of unlicensed drivers until they prove they have a valid driver’s license, make people aware that they have to “walk defensively” and drive defensively, severely punish those that break the laws, and consider more stoplights and stop signs for safety, and for God’s sake, show some kindness and respect to those around you.

  14. Crissi, One who beleives in inforcing our laws is not “prejudice” or racist.

    Reasons to deport illegal immigrants.
    1) it’s against the law
    2) it’s against the law
    3) it’s against the law
    4) it’s against the law
    5) it’s against the law
    If we have no respect for the rule of law, then we will soon perish as a society.
    If the law is wrong, don’t disregard it, change it!
    Anytime you start enforcing some laws and not others, you start society on a slippery slope to extinction.
    Just look at how much NYC was cleaned up by the enforcement of laws, like jaywalking.
    When it was treated with a wink & a nod and ignored; it was rampant, people were getting injured, drivers were raging.
    And because one law was obviously being disregarded, people thought they could disregard other laws they didn’t like.
    Once enforcement of ALL laws was reinstated, the overall crime rate dropped. Imagine that, respect for the law

  15. And yes the driver is an “Illegal” it was stated in the first P.D article and removed by our pro “Illegal” paper. Check with Santa rosa P.D if you don’t beleive my words.

  16. Fed Up, I am sorry you’re so riled up on this. And I realize you’re bullying me into responding by commenting on blog articles that have nothing to do with this (which I deleted because it was off topic completely). And truthfully, I have no obligation to respond. I originally chose to not respond to anyone at all in this comment discussion to allow this to be an open forum for all voices to be heard. Even yours. But since you have invited me to respond and will likely continue to extend that invitation, I will.
    I stand by my statement that this isn’t a race issue. And the reason I stand by this is because I have seen all races drive like flipping idiots in this town and it enrages me. Just because someone has a license or insurance and is a legal citizen does not mean they drive with the safety of those around them in mind. It was only 10 minutes ago when I was standing at the crosswalk at Mendocino and Ross St. The light changed so I could cross, but experience has told me to wait. And I’m glad I did, as a sports car sped up as the light turned red, fully running the light just so they didn’t have to stop. If I had walked when the light told me I could have, I would have been killed.
    You stating that all illegals should be deported, etc, is an opinion you have introduced into this discussion that I am choosing not to respond to. The topic in this article is about the safety of pedestrians on the street, and the drivers, regardless of race, who don’t realize just how lethal their vehicle is. Period. You may want to re-read it. Or don’t. All I care is that anyone reading this might make some changes to their own driving habits so that innocent children like Christopher “Buddy” Rowe don’t have to die.

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