Red light, green light

The stoplight outside of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in Phoenix.

We have all been a pedestrian. Walking from one destination to the next along the black asphalt roads. Beating our shoes against the ashen sidewalk.

We have also been the driver. The one changing the radio station. Speeding while trying to get to the next location. Desiring less traffic on the journey home after a long day.

As the driver, you hate your momentum being halted by the angry, red light that allows the pedestrians to pass through unscathed. As the pedestrian you loathe the driver who could have killed you as they ran the red light.

However, when we aren’t one we are normally the other. Meaning if we aren’t walking we are driving and vise versa. Most drivers give little regard to pedestrians, and believe that their motion of running the red light is justifiable.

When you stop to think about it 4,735 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States alone during 2013, according to the CDC. That is 4,735 too many.

On average, two people die each day from crashes involving a driver who ran a red light, according to a 2011 study conducted by National Center for Statistics and Analysis. Again, running a red light is preventable.

Drivers must be more alert, and understand that the destination they are headed isn’t as important as a life. As pedestrians, we need to be more alert.

All too frequently, one can witness a pedestrian who in one their phone looking down and nearly walks into traffic. The problem remains on both ends. In today’s age, we are constantly distracted. Whether the distraction be coming from our phones or coming from the desire to be somewhere else; we are distracted.

A parallel can be drawn between the driver and the pedestrian which is that they are both distracted. Yet, the difference is one is behind a heavy-duty device while the other is immersed in their phone.

It is time for society to slow down, and rekindle the actual moments in the life. To put down the phone, and not rush. We should concentrate on the journey, and not the final destination.

Next time, you think to run a red light put yourself in the pedestrians’ shoes. Red means stop, green means go.