Red Light Runners


I almost bit the dust today. I had just finished a run in the pouring rain along Kits Beach and was standing at the NW corner of Cornwall and Balsam waiting for the light to turn. I saw a black car barreling west along Cornwall Street. I glanced up, the light was yellow, but would soon turn red. I could see he wasn’t going to stop, even though he was far enough back to do so. I started shaking my head at the guy, my eyes locking on his as he came through the now red light. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a white car in the intersection waiting to turn. Then it all happened very fast.

The guy in the black car suddenly saw the white car, braked, veered, skidded on the slick road and headed straight for me. I guess the two cars clipped, I can’t remember exactly because I was focused on the black car that kept coming, straight for me. I leaped out of the way, not knowing if it would be far enough. He smashed into the traffic light pole, exactly where I’d been standing seconds before. Pieces of the car flew towards me, but I was just far enough away. Had I waited a second longer or run the other way, I would have been hit.

Miraculously, no one was hurt. Not even the driver, who was very apologetic and visibly shaken. He took awhile to get out of the car, the  airbags were fully inflated. I said, “Maybe that will keep you from running red lights in the future.” He said, “Oh, I didn’t see it as a red light.”

Yellow lights no longer mean slow down and proceed with caution. They mean speed up and get the hell through and cross your fingers that you don’t kill someone. We were all lucky today, but somehow I don’t think the guy learned his lesson. Thankfully there were plenty of witnesses.

Think I’ll take the bus to yoga tonight.

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