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Parking Lot or Drag Strip?

In other news, another woman was nearly mowed down while leaving the local Target.  Witnesses say that the car that nearly took her life must have thought he was at a drag strip at the speed he was going.  It is unclear if she looked both ways before crossing the street.  Officials refused to offer any comments.

 

I haven’t actually read this in the newspaper or heard it in the news, but that doesn’t make the scenario any less true.  Society does not seem to understand the monster they have created.  With your continuous lack of safety when you just walk into  traffic in the parking lot, plodding along at the speed of an old plow horse, with no care to anyone else around you, you are sending the message that you just don’t care.  I might not be in a huge hurry, but it doesn’t make it any less irritating to have to creep behind you as you walk right in the middle of the aisle.  I am not speeding, but it doesn’t make it any less terrifying to have to slam on my brakes because you decide to use your right to be in the way at the last possible moment instead of just waiting 3 more seconds for me to pass.

I am not in any way saying that this behavior excuses the behavior that seems to result from these instances.  But one does seem to perpetuate the other.  You don’t care who you are inconveniencing, so why should any one else?  Parking lots have become a dangerous dangerous place.  The speed limit is not posted, so does that mean you think you can drive as fast as you please?  You want that space up front in the next aisle, so does that mean you can race around to get it? 

Vehicles are bigger and bigger than ever before.  A simple truck is no longer a simple truck.  It is now a raised/lifted gas hogging monster on giant mud tires.  It was almost impossible for you to see my 6 year old before.  The average height of the hood of an SUV is well over 3.5 feet.  My daughter is only 3 feet tall.  Can you see her?  No, you can’t, yet you drive 30 miles an hour down the aisle without even thinking that she could at any moment step from between two cars.  Even if you are the one driving the tiny car and can see very well, the giant mini vans parked in the spaces along side you are not, you still wouldn’t be able to see her, or me for that matter, until the very last second. 

There are actually certain stores that my family will not go to, simply because the public in that area has shown a complete lack of respect for those walking through the parking lot.  I was actually yelled at and threatened by two separate drivers in a parking lot, on the same day.  One on the way into the store, and one on the way out.  How sad is that?  I stop and look both ways, you have a stop sign, I cross and you speed through it with me and my two small children right in your path.  Have you no decency? 

I could even take this one step further.  If you see a mom loading her groceries in the back of her mini van with her children next to her — SLOW DOWN!  A LOT!  You will accomplish two things:1) Reduce your change of hitting one of those kids should they dart out.  2)Calm her fears and make her day a little easier because now she doesn’t have to load the van and do your job too. If you see a mom walking with her kids SLOW DOWN A LOT!  You simply cannot know when a munchkin might decide to yank himself loose from her grip and run off.  Or trip and fall into the way of your car. 

Some may not agree and that’s fine.  You should not have to do her job for her (teaching her kids to be safe in the parking lot) any more than she should have to do yours.  BUT If it was you and your children, and the driver coming towards you slowed down more than normal, giving you the space you need, would you feel a little safer?  Would you feel respected and cared about?  That’s what it is all about.  None of us want to have to fear death and injury while being in a parking lot.  Things would go a lot better if we all started practicing an old simple truth:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. 

Note: it doesn’t say “do to others as they have done to you.”  That perpetuates the cycle.

 

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