Heedless Pedestrians to Blame, Too


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Drivers who kill people should be held accountable - and so should careless walkers


By Anthony Bellov, West End Avenue


Upper West Side This letter is motivated by reading several of your articles in the issue of March 13.


While the terribly tragic deaths of Ariel Russo and Cooper Stock, both killed by totally irresponsible drivers within two blocks of each other on West 97th Street, are completely the drivers' faults and could have been prevented, there is an aspect to pedestrian accidents I don't see generally being emphasized in the ongoing discussions of late. As both a regular pedestrian/mass transit-user and someone who frequently drives his car in NYC, I'm all too aware of the number of pedestrians who pay no heed whatsoever to their surroundings or how they are minding traffic around them.


This past Tuesday, March 11, while driving around Columbus Circle at 3 in the afternoon, we had to stop short because of a woman - with an iPod-type attachment blocking her hearing and distracting her - who chose to totally ignore any common-sense safety precautions and plow across the Circle in between moving cars, in the middle of ongoing traffic, and not even in a crosswalk. She appeared right in front of our car when she stepped from in front of a slowly moving van, which blocked our view of her until we were head on. Luckily, street smarts on our part prevented an accident from happening, but to then be verbally assaulted by this completely self-righteous and foolhardy person underscored in my mind the other side of this complex and difficult issue - the countless pedestrians who take their lives (not to mention others) in their own hands by throwing all caution to the wind and crossing when, where, and how they please with complete disregard to the potential danger involved.


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