What Does It Take To Get People to Stop Plowing Through Passengers at Muni Stops?
The other day I got an email from a Concerned Reader, who noted that while waiting for the N the other day, they noticed several cars plow past a stopped N that was deboarding passengers. When one of the drivers of said cars was stopped by an off-duty Muni employee, who told the car driver what they were doing was both illegal and unsafe. The response? A laugh and a "oh f-you" attitude. Wonderful.
I have to say that in some places, the problem seems particularly acute, despite those stickers on the backs of the trains, a solid percentage of clueless drivers just plow through, stuck in their little haze of cell phone use and/or a clear inability to grasp the concept of driving in a dense urban area. I don't fault the stickers - you could have a giant neon sign pop up in several languages saying "don't pass the train, dimwits, you might hit someone" and they'd still do it. Once I saw a particularly egregious violation and I was seriously tempted to grab a bottle of juice out of my grocery bag and chuck it at the car (who almost ran over a couple of kids) but common sense won the day and I didn't do it.
Maybe the solution is something a bit different - perhaps it's time we make it significantly more difficult to get a driver's license, and require people to actually know something about safety before being allowed to drive their cars on the road. I realize that the concept of teaching people how to drive and issuing a license saying they're able to is completely foreign to Americans, but it's worth looking into. Also: perhaps it's time to stop jerking people around on parking tickets, and instead save the big fines for serious moving violations that put everyone at risk (cars, bikes, people, transit). I think we'd have a safer city fairly quickly, for sure.
PS: And yes, bicyclists can be jerks too, and yes some pedestrians can be jerks too, and yes Muni operators etc. etc. etc. but it's not necessary to go through each of these any time one talks about auto safety. I mean, even the AAA would agree that no one is served by people driving dangerously, right?