This sign here–it fucking means YIELD to pedestrians. Not “accelerate to beat them to the crosswalk.”
It also doesn’t mean “continue at the same speed and hope they get out of the way in time.”
It doesn’t mean “let’s scare them and pretend we’re going to run them over, but leave a few inches to spare instead.”
And it sure the hell doesn’t mean, “run them over.”
If you haven’t been downtown in a while, there’s been a campaign using mannequins to represent the 32 people who’ve died in pedestrian/auto collisions in Chicago last year. Usually because the driver is being idiotic or “distracted” or doesn’t understand that this yellow diamond means YIELD and not IGNORE.
Count your blessings that these signs aren’t frigging STOP signs, forcing you to stop every few feet. The YIELD sign is a nice compromise. If there’s no pedestrians, you can keep on going at the same speed.
But that does mean if there are pedestrians–you slow down. Sometimes even stop.
Believe it or not, at these signs, pedestrians actually have the right-of-way. Not you. Not you in your comfy climate-controlled car that you’re paying through the nose for the license and the gas and the parking for. You chose to pay those fees for the convenience, so surely you can be inconvenienced to slow down and/or stop for us people who walk the city.
Did you ever wonder why some pedestrians give you the Chicago salute? It’s probably because you tried to run us over.
Maybe these murder-drivers in the pedestrian safety campaign didn’t pay attention in driver’s ed. Maybe they somehow memorized the facts, regurgitated in the tests, and then promptly forgot about all the rules and requirements for driving. Maybe they got so caught up in the “Bohemian Rhapsody” song they forgot about the road.
Don’t let that be you. Remember, the big yellow diamond means YIELD.
Oh, and while I’m on my soapbox, I’m going to tell you pedestrians some tips. No texting while walking. Look where you’re going. And ideally, keep the earbuds OUT of your ears, so you can hear the cars honking at you when you’re exerting your right-of-way in the crosswalks.
Thank you for listening to my PSA.
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