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Why I watch cars, not lights


Light rain is falling. I’m walking along the footpath beside Maitland Road. I stop at the intersection with Church. A grey-haired lady in a Daihatsu F20 is sitting at the lights even though she’s got the green. The vibe I get is that she’s just not there. Her light turns red, mine turns green, as does the one for traffic on Maitland Road. It’s still not right. I hang back.

Sure enough a few seconds later she pulls out, turning across traffic. WHACK, straight into the passenger door of a Corolla doing about 60 kph down Maitland. Not even a hint of brakes or swerving. The Corolla stops dead. The Daihatsu is thrown backwards across the pedestrian crossing in front of me. SCREECH. A Hi-Lux behind the Corolla crosses into oncoming traffic. In a superb piece of defensive driving a guy in a Camry manages to avoid both the head-on and mounting the gutter near where a young couple are walking.

The Daihatsu and Corolla are write-offs. No other cars are damaged. No-one is hurt.

A guy gets out of the Corolla, pale and shaking. The woman gets out of the Daihatsu and surveys the scene with the air of browsing a frock shop. She’s still miles away. If she’d pulled out half a second earlier the Corolla would have t-boned her and she’d have been badly fucked up. Half a second later and the Hi-Lux would probably have killed her. Traffic backs up in both directions.

It just happened.

From → autobiography

One Comment
  1. Your instincts served you well.


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