Running dark

Running dark

I was coming up 1792 in the pre-dawn gloom, well over to the right on a dark three-lane street with posted 35 mph yet 50 actuals. The road is old, concrete with short spans between the expansion joints, so the ride is hard – both hands on the bar, please!

Was nearing my left onto Lake; time for a quick look over my shoulder. Headlights gleaming 200 yards back, plenty of time to cross the three lanes. I’m just across when a car hurtles past in the darkness, a second behind me and out of goddamn nowhere, bombing along at high speeds, in the dark, without headlights.


While I sat there at the light, thinking about that close call (I’d not seen him, with his Romulan Cloaking Device), I noticed that about one in five cars we running in the gloom without lights. Hell, I’ve got fore and aft battery lights, a yellow coat, and a reflector vest. And you can’t turn on your lights?

With all this talk about the senseless shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, there is never any outrage about the 30,000 highway deaths a year. Florida kills 500 pedestrians each year alone (God knows how many injured). And why? Certainly because, in small part, for pedestrians crossing in dark clothing without looking. But yes, let’s not discount the drivers with cellphones, texting, those who are drunk, and most despicably, those who are just in a rush.

And those who can’t take the time, while getting in their car in the darkness, to reach down the the ergonomically-placed and easily located lightswitch.