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Traffic Utopia


Arizona Daily Wildcat

By Ty Young
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
October 22, 1999
Talk about this story

Two days ago, 21 high school students were injured while driving to the Navajo Nation's Red Ribbon Campaign Run, when their van was rammed from behind by a tractor-trailer rig. Why do stories like these continue to persist in our world of high-technology and enhanced traffic control devices? All sorts of problems can be solved by a little consideration.

It is quite simple - the majority of people on the streets are ignorant of how their actions affect others.

Or maybe, they are just really stupid.

As pawns in a world dominated by binding traffic policy, we must understand that the traffic laws created by our local government and enforced by our local police department are designed to help us not only maneuver throughout the city, but to do so safely.

In essence, by following and understanding these corresponding rules, we all can live in our own traffic utopia.

First of all, it is important to understand the city's definitions of "pedestrians" and "drivers."

A pedestrian in the City of Tucson is not merely a person who is walking. Included in this are rollerbladers and skateboarders.

This being said, here is the corresponding rule: Get off the streets!

The City of Tucson has spent millions of dollars to provide pedestrians with ample area to walk, run and skate upon. Is that black, bumpy asphalt so appealing that a pedestrian would risk life and limb to just walk or skate upon it?

Our tremendous city has also provided us with the means for crossing streets. They are appropriately named "crosswalks."

The corresponding rule is quite self explanatory: Cross the street within the realm of the crosswalk.

Now there is one last part of the pedestrian rule that we should all grasp very easily.

Cross the street - while in the crosswalk of course - only when a white "walk" sign invites you to do so. If there is no light, make sure you look both ways for oncoming traffic and cross the street as quickly as possible.

By following these rules, pedestrians will not be in danger of life-ending injury at the hands of "drivers."

Not only that, but drivers will not feel the need to yell at you, wave a fist in your general direction, or, in some cases, decide to blow your head off with their concealed weapon.

However, in order to achieve the traffic utopia, drivers must abide by their rules as well.

Once again, we need to understand what a driver really is. This is quite simple.

Drivers are those who do not use their feet for the main transportation method. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, motorized scooters, and bicycles fall under this umbrella of driving devices.

This rule applies to everybody - slow down ... please. While the Tucson city speed limit is much lower than many other cities, we are all confined to follow it.

Not only are fellow drivers in danger of high speed deaths, but the pedestrians as well.

When a sign says "children at play," slow down. See how simple this is?

Here at the University of Arizona, our lives are dominated by rules. Contrary to popular belief, drivers and pedestrians must follow basic and self-evident traffic laws.

By doing so, we can all share in a utopian traffic society where nobody losses their head, both figuratively and literally.

Ty Young is an English senior. He can be reached at editor@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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