02 January 2008

right of way?

30. December 2007

Dead of night, empty road, Raleigh, NC. Company: Me, H, B, and J. I start crossing the street.

J: "Push the button, Ri!"

No, I'm pretty sick of you already, and I'm not going to listen to you now.

Me: "Why should I? No one is coming."

J: "Because you're jay-walking..."

Hi, I'm from a real city. We jay-walk all the time. It's not a felony. It's not even a misdemeanor. It might the most minor traffic violation anyone can commit. And it's a moot point when there's no on-coming traffic.

Me: "No one is coming, and I do this all the time."

J: "You can get a ticket for that here."

H: "She's from Boston."

J: "Well, here you wait for traffic."

Of which there is none. There aren't any cops either to hand out this hypothetical ticket. Where are they? Oh, right. Looking for drunk drivers.

Me: "You do know that pedestrians have the right of way, right?"

J: "No they don't. Not here."

Me: "Umm, I'm pretty sure they do..."

In point of fact, the NC Driver's Handbook is a piece of shit when it comes to discussing what pedestrians can or can't do. It's a 150-word section in a book that spends 50% of its pages discussing the point system for revoking one's license. There's nothing about jay-walking or anything else. Basically the message one gets as a pedestrian is: Good luck! Don't get hit!

People in NC aren't encouraged to walk, apparently (as well as obviously, judging the obesity level within the state).

To read this woefully vague scrap of tripe: Driver's Handbook.


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