Monday, October 18, 2010

Statitics are just a tool... and like a weapon, you can use-it the good or the wrong way.

Today at an abnormal Lisbon morning traffic... I saw one of those stupid traffic statistics.
Why abnormal? I was able to drive normally.. It was almost unreal! In a tunnel, 2 cars away from me, a truck was over taking... I clutched the engine, revved it to 8000... and a miracle happened the truck moved. Then the rest of the road was almost clear... but when it wasn't, people changed lane on my approach. This was just sweet. I managed to do home-to-work in under 20 minutes and without insulting people. This should have been filmed so that anyone can understand that respecting others leads to efficiency. Everyone made it's way into Lisbon, without accidents and much happier.

But back to the point, the stupid statistic:
"Drive carefully, during 2009, 316 people were injured in crosswallks inside Lisbon".

Now this is a bad statistic... it's too close to 1 person per day.
Is it the driver's fault? Sure... since it's a crosswalk, it's the driver's fault period. But should the driver alone take the blame for it? No.
Inside Lisbon (and across the country), and I dare you to visit the examples bellow, crosswalks are drawn in the worse possible places: intersections and roundabouts.
The driver approaching a roundabout, has to cope with breaking/accelerating it's car towards a road of incoming traffic of at least 1 direction (mostly 2 and sometimes 3 to 5!). He stops, looks and while he accelerates his car and turns in (accelerating will be important to avoid accidents) he still has to be ready to brake because some idiot at city-hall decided to draw a crosswalk exactly were he should be under heavy acceleration.
The same goes for roundabouts... the law (we call it the taxi driver's law) says you can drive all day long in the roundabout in the same lane, full throttle and don't give a damn about others cause if you are not changing lane, it's your right to do so. Taxi drivers, when approaching an overhaul will do so until they crash an then the victim will pay the repair (including the overhaul parts, pre-settled with the garage). Now normal people know that you should count lanes and exits and start from the inside and change progressively to the exit. During this risk maneuver, you have to dose acceleration and breaking and side mirror and most times take a pick over your right shoulder... and then you have a crosswalk!
Seriously, considering all this stupidity and lack of common sense, the statistics is VERY VERY GOOD!

Roundabouts:
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=38.749965,-9.105099&spn=0.001234,0.003444&t=h&z=19

Crosswalks:
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=38.747765,-9.139406&spn=0.000617,0.001722&t=h&z=20

These are small examples, unfortunately, much more exist.
Now... are the drivers to blame 100%?

---------------------------------> Second Edit <-----------------------------------

Today, exactly 1,5 days after writing this article, I became a victim of this twisted system.
Turning left, with a FULL GREEN LIGHT, following a "Laguna", some idiot that isn't worth the oxygen that he breathes, decided to go across a crosswalk (having a red light stamped all over his idiot face). The laguna (consuming all the visible area of my windshield) accelerated and then suddenly braked hard.
The S2000 is not made for slow starts (it has a recognized hick up if you start it slow) so I was starting to accelerate when that big ass laguna light up... I was doomed! I did brake... a little.. and then bumped into the laguna.

UNFORTUNATELY not even hard enough to make it go over the moron that started everything in the first place.... result? I'm the one paying for a fucking idiot's error and he walks clean because he was on a crosswalk placed in the worse possible place.
I'm now considering the possibility of passing this very same spot during the night and spray black ink all over that stupid crosswalk.... as many times as I can remember.

BOY I HATE TO BE RIGHT ALL THE TIME!.... and for those of you chocked with my words... let me make it quite clear: YES I do wish than the laguna had been projected hard enough to run him over... don't quite care about the outcome... killed or badly injured, he would have learned a lesson and made my money at least worth the joy of some "morality revenge". Being part of a system, one HAS to respect the basic rules of that system, and I've seen plenty drivers loose their license for passing red light (rightly, I should add)... but I've never once seen a cop fine a person walking a red light.

TWISTED and it just brings out the very worse and rough thoughts in me.
Having apologized to the lady in front, that was apologizing back for accelerating and then braking hard, I immediately told her that she had the law on her side... and that if only she had set the foot of her pedal and let the inertia do justice, we would have a guy going to the hospital and being identified by the police.
I would testify to protect her (proving that she stopped before hitting him) and he would have to pay for all the damage plus hospitalization (I would send the lawyer after that idiot's ass).
But since she avoided the collision with him... I'm the only part to blame!