Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Targets in the dark

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Waukesha Freeman columnist Pete Kennedy has a great column this weekend that should be posted everywhere at the Carroll College/University/whatever campus. The students are more of a menace to good drivers than deer along the highways up north.

It was Tuesday night. My son and I were driving down East Avenue, past Carroll College – I mean University. For the record, I was coming from the YMCA, not a tavern. And I try not to drive like James Dean when I’m by myself, let alone with a 9-year-old in the car.

I slowed down as we approached the crosswalks by Carroll. There didn’t seem to be anyone there, but this kid appeared, out of nowhere, in the middle of the crosswalk.

He might have jumped from a tree. He was like a ninja: not there one second, right in front of me the next. He wasn’t a ninja, of course, because they don’t live around here – I’ve never seen one – and ninjas are much too crafty to find themselves in front of an oncoming vehicle. (I suppose they would just jump over the car. Or, maybe lesser ninjas die all the time, in the early stages of training, and we only hear about the survivors – the really good ninjas.)

Anyway, I couldn’t see the kid until the last second. He was wearing all black and strolled across the walkway with the confidence of someone who is made of reflectors.

I stopped the car in time, but it was too close. And I really had been cautious.

My point: We can try to make the walks safer, but you still can’t step into traffic when people can’t see you.

The Lovely Doreen from Waukesha makes it a point never to drive down East Avenue. The kids just wander into the streets daring drivers to hit them. They’re a menace, right of way or not.

I suspect Kennedy struck a nerve with this column and the Sound Offs will be filled with similar horror stories.

I would just point out that if you’re too stupid to walk across a busy street safely, why in heck are you pursuing a college degree instead of digging ditches somewhere?

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