How Did Dodging SUVs Become The New Normal?

Why is Vision Zero faltering? My recent up-close encounter with a tank-sized vehicle and its idiot driver is all too common.

John Tarleton Jan 24, 2020

Why is Vision Zero faltering in New York City? Surely driver stupidity is a major factor along with the lethality of SUVs mass-marketed by auto companies with dollar signs in their eyes.

Last night, I was coming home from visiting an old friend at the hospital. I was enjoying the fresh late-night air as I crossed an empty, two-lane residential street with the crossing signal in my favor. All of a sudden, a bright red SUV cut a hard left turn and barreled toward me. I was halfway across and could neither retreat to the sidewalk behind me or lunge for the one in front of me.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?!” I screamed at the driver. The opaque, driver-side window slowly rolled down.

Instead, I jumped back thinking the driver would stop. When they didn’t, I started sprinting away from the SUV. Finally, they hit the brake. An elder or a child might not have been so fortunate in that situation.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?!” I screamed at the driver.

The opaque, driver-side window slowly rolled down.

“What do you mean ‘what da fuck is wrong with me?’” The driver yelled back. “What da fuck is wrong with you?” He was a young man who appeared from a distance to be in his 20s or early 30s.

I pointed to the crossing signal, which was still white, and the white-striped pedestrian crosswalk and told him you can’t turn into that when someone is walking across.

“The light was mine,” he replied, jabbing his arm out the window at the green light.

I spluttered with rage that he was wrong. He called me an “alky.” He said he ought to get out and bitch slap me but didn’t leave his SUV. I walked off into the night. Home was only one block away.

John Tarleton is the Editor-in-Chief of The Indypendent.

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