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FennelSuperb7633 t1_iv8fgew wrote

About two weeks ago my wife was walking in Brookland around Menomale pizzeria. While she was crossing the street with a walk signal a man was tuning right. He actually waived to her with his index finger not to cross, even though she had a walk sign, and he proceed to drive as close to her as physically possible without hitting her. She rightfully yelled at him. He reversed the car in the middle of the street and got out of his car and threatened her. She said she was going to walk to the police and he followed her. He didn’t get back in the car until she pulled out her phone and started recording him.

This whole situation is incredible to me. But I also can’t believe other cars just drove by and watched this man physically threatening a young woman. I was not there, but I did see most of it on video.


H0pelessWanderer t1_ivaotab wrote

I once watched a police car zoom through one of the crosswalks by Menomale while a group of pedestrians- 4+ people- were clearly waiting to cross the road. It was so astonishing that we had an exchange about it through my car window being like.... WTF just happened?


BubsterX1 t1_iv9h21d wrote

Your wife had every reason to be angry at the driver - who among us would not have felt the same way?

>But I also can’t believe other cars just drove by and watched this man physically threatening a young woman.

The moral of the story is that if you choose to engage with a reckless driver and potentially escalate the situation, assume that no one will be coming to your assistance if it turns violent. You can chalk it up to bystander apathy, cowardice, minding one's own business, or whatever you want. Based on news reports that I've read, I think it is a healthy self-preservation interest at work. Sometimes people try to get in the middle of a conflict between a couple, with an eye toward protecting the woman in the couple. The male partner becomes enraged at the interloper and a fight breaks out. And then, later, instead of being appreciative toward the good Samaritan, the woman tells the police that he is the bad guy and that the couple was just having a spirited disagreement. I'm not saying that happens all the time, but it happens enough that you can foresee it as a possible outcome that would make you wish you had not gotten involved.


Snuggoth t1_iv9s90c wrote

Got any advice for how to work with the assumption that you'll never be able to reliably walk somewhere because of the commonly cited and apparently immutable fact that erratic, possibly violent people are simply never going to stop being at least a block or two away at all times? I get what you're saying with cause and effect, it's just kind of hard to factor that kind of thing in day to day if you can't fly or teleport where you need to be.


BubsterX1 t1_iv9vqy4 wrote

Sure. When I was learning how to drive, my mother urged me to practice "defensive driving," which is the idea that there will be many dangerous drivers on the road and the safest thing to do is to be extra careful in an effort to compensate for other drivers' lack of reasonable care.

My advice for pedestrians is to practice defensive walking, and my advice for cyclists (I am one myself), is to practice defensive cycling. So, with respect to pedestrians, don't assume that motorists will respect the crosswalks, don't assume that they will stop at red lights, etc. A pedestrian should not have to think this way, but it could make the difference between a close encounter and actually being hit by a car.

Edit: grammar