**Yesterday, a woman from Portland told me there are a high number of pedestrian deaths by train due to folks looking at their cellphones while crossing the tracks.
It would’ve been harder to believe had I not just saved at least a dozen or more folks from being hit by a blaring fire truck as they crossed the street near The Americana in Glendale, California the day before.
I had heard the loud sirens coming from the fire trucks just as I stepped into the street. Knowing all too well that they could just appear at any time, I ran across the street. But once I reached the safety of the sidewalk I looked back and saw hordes of people walking, lackadaisy, with their heads looking down at their cellphones, as they crossed.
Many of them looked like tourists from other countries, but there were some natives in the mix too.
Horrified, I screamed “R-U-N as the firetruck came blazing down the street at a speed I knew would be unable to stop, by the time it reached the crowd.
Everyone looked up from their phones, and as if coming out of a daze, started running towards the sidewalk.
It’s as if they thought, and drivers will be able to relate to this, “we have the right of way. It will stop for us.”
WTF has happened to us? What could be that damned important that we are unable to cross a street, or drive a car, without looking down at our cellphones?
I kid you not, I am not exaggerating when I question how many lives were saved that day.
Hey, I’m no saint. We’ve all done some pretty dumb stuff, and had some pretty close calls. Things like hurrying up to beat that red light; making a U-turn in the middle of the street. You know, regular stupid driver sh*t.
But crossing the street and not looking where you are going because you are texting?
Nuh-uh. The message can wait.
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